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Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing.

Today’s guest is author Kathy Bryson. Like many of us gardeners, she’s experimenting with new things in the garden. Welcome, Kathy!


Gardening Lite

By Kathy Bryson


When Catherine emailed about this year’s Writer’s Garden, I just gotten seed packets in the mail, Part 2 of my Gardening Lite experiment, and couldn’t wait to share it with everyone!

The experiment started when I spent Summer 18 weeding a surplus of decorative grass out of overmulched flowerbeds, so I was really looking forward to building out new beds.

Kathy’s overgrown beds

The frames were light-weight sheet metal, but the bags of compost weighed 50 lbs each. I hauled a few bags and admitted defeat. A student volunteered to help, so I swallowed my pride and gratefully accepted.

Kathy’s new beds


Just to make life easier, I did go to Lowe’s the Friday before we arranged to meet and got them to help me load 8 bags or 400 pounds of Black Cow compost in my Kia. I figured I could drive around for one day with that weight. But then the student emailed late Saturday that he’d gotten pulled onto another project. I managed to get another 2 bags spread, then had to quit.

We set a time for the next weekend, but plans change, and after a week of driving around in a car full of compost, I couldn’t wait. It wasn’t that low odor! I went back to Lowe’s and got a collapsible wagon, and over two days, finally got the car emptied. Of course, I came up short. I did not want to haul another thing, but I still needed mulch, so back I went to Lowe’s, telling myself to just get it done!

Texas has distinct seasons, so by that time the compost was mostly sold, leaving smaller bags of potting soil. I gathered them up along with the mulch and that’s when it dawned on me. Buy the smaller bag! Gardening is so much easier when you buy the lighter bag! It’s an epiphany that works for everything from cat litter to milk cartons.

With one problem solved, another Gardening Lite question popped up. In Florida, I had all sun, all day. In Texas, I only have direct sun for a few hours in one spot, so I had to find low light plans. My first choice was wildflowers as they’re usually sturdy and attract bees and butterflies, but generally, wildflowers like sun. It took some hunting, but eventually I found discovered wildflowers specifically for forest from Vermont. Sadly, however, Texas must differ enough from Vermont because nothing sprouted come Spring except for more of that horrid decorative grass. So back again I went to Lowe’s, this time for all the hostas and caladiums I could find. Those I know like low light because we use them inside the library for a touch of greenery and oxygen! You might have to peer into the shadows to catch the nuances, but you can’t go wrong in the garden if you pay attention to the light.


About the Writer/Gardener

A recent transplant to Texas, Kathy Bryson dreams of gardens that look like Thomas Kinkade paintings. This completely unrealistic grasp of reality is also what propels her to write tongue-in-cheek fantasy that ranges from leprechauns who play the stock market to zombies who hang out with and harangue med students. Not at all like the regular students she works with during the school year. Read more at http://www.kathybrysonbooks.com/