I have lived in many houses and have always planted perennial flower bulbs (tulips, crocuses, daffodils) in the autumn even though I knew I’d never see them again.  I think I’ve lived in over three dozen houses all over the USA and have planted bulbs in about a dozen.  Sometimes we moved every six months due to training.  Other times I stayed as long as a few years.

Now I live in my own home — the first I’ve ever owned. We’ve been here for nearly 11 years. For the past few years, I’ve attempted to grow a garden.  I even began a story-blog about it for my two beautiful granddaughters.  Grammy Miami and the Case of a Mysterious, Disappearing, Inter-Dimensional Space (Not Time) Traveler Named Lucu (a Young, Female African Elephant).  This story will continue this year too.  We’re breaking ground this weekend (very late I know but I’ve been very sick).  We bought a rototiller to make it easier.

Tonight I found this beautiful article Connecting with Nature Near London! on Service Space.  The is article is about Mita and about a ceremony she and her friends invited everyone to come to create this beautiful space for their community.

I recently learned that my neighbors are often in need of the food banks near us. I decided I wanted to use my entire yard as a garden this summer and to gift to my neighbors anything they need from it. Even though I know it’s probably very late for planting, I really want to make this work.  If you have any suggestions about raised-bed vegetable gardens that aren’t too expensive and which even beginners can’t mess up, please leave a comment.

There are many photos in the article Mita shared showing the beautiful raised beds and really pretty path rows she and her friends planted last weekend.  As soon as I saw this, I visualized my entire yard and driveway paths like this.  We live near a refinery here, so the soil isn’t optimal.  Once we rototil the yard, we could cover it with gravel and make raised beds.  Has anyone ever done this themselves for their community? I’d love any advice you can offer!

I foresee three problems so far:

1. Lack of talent. Maybe. I have never had luck with gardens in the past, despite many attempts, books read, videos watched, etc. I don’t want to give up though. Every part of me longs to be good at this!

2. Funds.  We did a raised bed garden for my mom some years ago, but she lives an hour from us.  She could never maintain and couldn’t afford to get anyone else to maintain it when we weren’t there.  Some of the herbs are still growing though, which is cool. So we do know how to make raised beds. Thing is, it was very expensive at the time.  It cost over $300 just for this 4’x4′ square, soil, and tomato and bean poles and fertilizer and the protection from the animals to cover it.  Our yard is way bigger than 4×4.

3. Lack of stamina. Will I be able to do this?  I am extremely weak still from a year of illness after surgery and repeated infections, so although this garden will be a boon to me, I don’t want to start it and not be able to keep up with it.

Any ideas? If not, maybe you know of someone who might be willing to give me advice for starting this big endeavor from scratch. My son will help but he does work a lot of hours with his dad so he will not always be able to.

I have to do this. I just don’t know how. Thank you for reading.

♥. Niki Flow

Cast of Characters - Grammy Miami and the Case of the Mysterious Disappearing Interdimensional Space (Not Time) Traveler Named Lucu (a Young Female African Elephant).