Gardening has been my therapy for a very long time. I have been gardening since I was a kid in Redmond, Washington with my family. Though I tended to loathe the days where we all chipped in and weeded, I did learn a lot about plants and how to care for them. That continued during my college years when my Mom and I worked on a garden during the summers. It was really satisfying watching things grow.
Currently we own about three and half acres. A pond sits on some of it and part of it is wooded. I had grand ideas of a huge garden many years ago but a busy life and health issues frequently got in the way. Finally my husband built me two above ground beds that I could easily manage. We fenced in the front and back yard for the dogs and I planted in some containers. This year I have planted a lot of rosemary and lavender. I also have some things that have come up from last year that I know I will have to transplant in the fall.
The big trick for me to get the most out of my gardening is to not put a lot of stress on myself. Some things do well where I plant them and some things don’t . Though I am always careful to buy things that tolerate full sun and work with the soil that I have some things just don’t do well. Instead of fretting I just try again the following year. The pressure to have the perfect house, the perfect garden, the perfect career, and be the perfect mother and wife is something that many of us women are very familiar with. I finally have just refused to play into it. My body just won’t let me. Letting that go was extremely freeing and I really began to enjoy my garden so much more.
My two beds are flourishing this year and I have even started drying my own rosemary and lavender. I simply took a vintage wire lamp frame and hung my herbs from there to dry. I have them hanging in a visible place right now for picture purposes only:
I love the way it looks and even in my dark pantry, it makes my kitchen smell divine! There are a ton of great ideas for making elevated gardening beds economically on Pinterest. You can also get topsoil or compost delivered fairly cheaply as well. I don’t like using commercial fertilizers. I like using things like epsom salts, compost, etc. especially on things such as herbs or products that you intend to eat. There are tons of blogs on organic gardening if you are interesting. I have only started looking into those things as I have been gardening on old farm land and the soil is still very fertile.
The biggest advice I can give you is to not make your garden a chore but rather a retreat. It is for me. I love the time I get to spend working with my hands or just sitting back watching the bees and the butterflies pollinating my flowers. Plant things you enjoy looking at. Plant things that come back each year and fill it with lovely annuals. Or if you are doing a vegetable garden, plant things you love to eat. Whatever you do, start small and work your way up. Make sure it is something that you love. I can assure you it is the cheapest therapy there is.