Yeah, a sappy title, but that’s what gardens are partly about. At least to me. I like to just stand in my garden and breathe deeply. As I transplanted seedlings last night, my wife remarked, “Getting some long missed dirt therapy I see.” The smell of good soil is truly therapeutic to me. Well, perhaps not truly therapeutic, but it is a blessing from God and one I enjoy. And the ultimate vegetables and fruits of one’s labor is certainly  a worthy pleasure to behold.

jungle 2009
2009 “Jungle Garden” in full summer glory. I loved this place.

My second favorite garden , the one in which I loved to imply stand in, was my 2009 garden. This was the “jungle garden.” It was the most mature and fullest development of my three 8×4 foot raised beds on the south side of my back yard. This veggie garden was begun when my firstborn was merely 5 years old. That would be around 1999. I grew various veggies there off an on until 2010, when the shade from my trees became too much to overcome. I went through three replacements of the 2×12 boards that kept the raised beds tidy, and learned a lot in this nice space. I found that  would need to move my garden elsewhere in 2010, and that was sad.

One day’s harvest from the jungle garden. I loved 2009’s bounty.
Early spring shot of the 2009 garden, lots of dirt therapy happened here.

In life there are seasons of tumult, and 2011 was one of those bitter years for me. Not for my household or marriage or kids, but in our church. That was a bad year of betrayal by people I love. The garden languished. How I could have used some dirt therapy then.

But providence is good, and I’m now at a thriving church nearly six years old. When things began to settle after starting this new and beloved church, I looked out at my weed-covered, languishing garden,the rotten trellis and keeper boards, and said “I have an idea.”

The sad remnants of the south garden. This is all shaded lawn now.

That was when I decided to start the new, bigger, improved garden. This is my current trio of raised beds which are on the north side of my yard where no tree nor house blocks the sun. Its quite ideal actually. You can read about the building of these beds step by step on this blog. Several months later I was standing in a jungle of tomatoes and watching lizards roam my bean patch. What a joy! That was my all-time favorite garden, the one in 2014.

2014’s wonderful lush summer growth. I got a ton of veggies from this garden.

I did a nice garden in 2015, but did not blog much about it because of a busy year with many trials. 2016 was a year of business and trials, so nothing happened then. The garden languished after the fall of 2015, and was a bed of gnarly weeds until this spring. I hope this year’s garden becomes a new favorite. I’m going to enjoy the smells and sights and little discoveries along the way.

2007’s garden when I got serious about keeping the dogs out.
2003’s veggies – turnips and greens and corn and tomatoes and… I forgot all the others. It was a good one.