Garden Renovation: Giving Life To Neglected Garden Beds

By Laura Miller | December 28, 2020
Image by Anthony Boulton
by Laura Miller
December 28, 2020

With the challenges of 2020 behind us, who among us is not looking forward to a new year? For me, this upcoming gardening year is especially filled with hope. Due to the extreme generosity of another, my husband recently underwent transplant surgery. Although his recovery is fraught with the possibility of rejection, infection and other complications, this life-transforming surgery has given us both a new lease on life.

For the past five years, my gardening efforts have been largely unsuccessful, as I’ve struggled to care for not only my husband, but for aging parents as well. Both the vegetable garden and the flowerbeds have become overrun with weeds. Much of our two-acre yard is overgrown with knee-high grass as I failed to keep up with the mowing chores. Hardscaping projects lay half-finished.

New Year Plans – Revitalizing a Neglected Garden

So what’s on my gardening agenda for this coming year? A better question might be what’s not on my to do list! As for my New Year’s resolutions, I realize I must be practical. Nearly every inch of our two-acre property needs to be revitalized. Prioritizing the neglected garden beds is a necessity.

Topping my gardening New Year’s resolution’s list is replanting my neglected in-ground veggie garden. Left fallow this past year, I scaled back my vegetable gardening to a handful of container plants. While this gave us enough produce for table use, it left none to replenish my winter store of frozen and canned vegetables.

From beans to zucchini, I plan to fill every inch of our garden with vegetable plants. Although my husband can’t help me with the actual gardening due to soil-borne pathogens, he will be able to help prep vegetables for canning, freezing and dehydrating. As Covid-19 continues to pose a threat, growing our own veggies helps limit the time spent in grocery stores.

Beyond the vegetable garden, this upcoming year I want to redo many of my flowerbeds. I’m hoping to plant the rootbound potted hydrangeas I bought a few years ago. My wish is to amend the soil around them so each blooms a different color. The strawberry bed, irises along the driveway and herb garden are also in sad shape and need to be redone.

The flagstone pathway leading to the horse’s run-in shed is half done and a retaining wall around the barn needs reconstructing. And of course, I’m very much looking forward to putting up our warm-weather gazebo and dusting off our patio furniture. It’s been several summers since my husband felt well enough to sit outdoors and enjoy summer evenings. Perhaps, after this garden renovation and his continual health improvements will help.

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