By Francie Shepherd

It’s ALMOST spring! I’m so excited, even if it still looks winter-worn here in Milbridge. I see green though, so I know those blooms are coming. How did you weather the winter? I spent it doing a little bit of planning and a lot of shopping! I’ve ordered more seeds than I know what to do with and some non-traditional additions to the flower beds…

Photo of metal ants

I found ANTS! These versions are recycled varieties made from salvaged metals and won’t get in your picnic or your sugar bowl. So fun. I found them at an unlikely roadside venue in Florida and am already trying to figure out how to make my own. Any ideas? I have visions of ladybugs too. I need a welder – who can yield a blow torch?

Wire dress form plant dress

Photo by CHARMERS on Flickr.

I also ordered a wire dress form to “plant” in the dirt as the Lady of the Garden. Anyone have a great old garden hat you want to donate for the cause? Check out some of these DIY ideas – Blog: Mannaquin Madness.

Oh, and then there’s the doors: drool-worthy old doors to push into outdoor service. Vintage door

These will form an unusual gate to complete a deer-resistant boundary designed to keep our four-legged grazing neighbors out of my lovely pasture (it’s more like a few raised beds, but I prefer to give it a deferential persona – it’s our garden space and I want them to stay out). I’ve spent hours plotting the tasty green smorgasbord that will live INSIDE that fence and gate – no involuntary salad for Bambi this year.

I dream of a magical, whimsical garden space that encourages the mind to wander and the heart to quiet. A combination of veggies and flowers designed to live together in harmony while discouraging critters and encouraging pollinators to take up residence and spread the love. That’s the charm of starting a garden from scratch, or at least that’s what I tell my back after a full day of woman-handling dirt!

Cucumber ARch

Evelyn Simak / Arch at entrance to walled kitchen garden / CC BY-SA 2.0

The last item on my garden list for 2022 is to try to create a cucumber/melon tunnel from stock fencing. I found this cucumber tunnel on Pinterest and I’m going to try to fashion a version to span the space between two of the new raised granite beds installed last year out back. We bought an old foundation two years ago for this purpose and finally got them set in September. The stone keeps the heat in and extends the growing season. Here’s what they looked like in February. I’ll share a summer picture of them once stuff is safely growing in the yet-to-be constructed fence barrier.

Raised beds

So, friends, don’t wander too far. Hopefully by August, it’ll be time to come visit. I’m so looking forward to having you over to Milbridge for tea in the garden.

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