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In the Garden with Cathy MacRae

The kiss of the sun for pardon

The song of the birds for mirth

One is nearer to God’s heart in the garden

Than anywhere else on earth


Dorothy Gurney–1858 – 1932


This spring has been a bonanza for me. I moved into a new house in January, and every time I check a flower bed, something new has popped up! It is better than birthdays and Christmas rolled into one, lol! (And yes, I got gift certificates for Christmas from a local nursery from anyone who asked what I wanted). Just the other day I was musing over the idea of putting hostas in the front flower bed, and presto! A few days later, up popped 3 hosta plants! I mean, does it get any better?

15_04_26 Veggie garden 2My new passion is square-foot gardening. It is a garden design by Mel Bartholomew (http://www.melbartholomew.com/) with the premise of sensational harvest with little work, all in a prescribed planting method that is super easy to follow. Little work? Lots of veggies? I’m definitely in!

So, here is what we did. We built two 4 X 8 foot frames, filled them with Mel’s special soil mix, measured off the garden in square foot plots, and went wild planting! I started some veggies from seed, purchased others as young plants. To date I have herbs at one end of one of the gardens (thyme, basil, sage, oregano, parsley and oregano- I keep rosemary in a pot close at hand as I cook with it a lot), and veggies elsewhere. Carrots, green onions, Eggplant, beans, peppers (several kinds), squash, cucumber, and more tomatoes than I’d meant to plant. I also included marigolds, zinnias, catnip and lavender to help minimize the bug population. There are a few other flowers scattered about just because I thought they were pretty, and why not?

15_05_08_Garden 2Every day I stroll through the garden at least twice, and it is a remarkable thing. Nothing is more satisfying than watching little seedlings grow. From the moment they push their cap through the soil, watching as they become a sturdy plant, bloom and produce the veggie of choice, I am simply mesmerized. Everything about a garden is soothing to me. I enjoy the fragrance of the flowers and damp soil, the texture of the leaves, petals, and even the dirt. I am simply content to be a gardener.

When I am not in the veggie garden or at my desk writing, my favorite spot is on the back deck, kicked back in a chaise, listening to the deep toning of the chimes hanging from a nearby tree—though I have been known to kick back in the chaise with my laptop. The wind blows a lot here, so the chimes have become a nearly constant part of life, and their sound means I am home.


Gardener/writer Cathy MacRae has been gardening all of her life. Her favorite thing about gardening is watching young plants grow. When she’s not gardening she’s writing sensual Scottish historical (Medieval) romance. You can learn more about her at http://www.cathymacraeauthor.com and her personal page “Wonderful Wednesday” on her website.