A New Garden

Summer is here!


Every time winter comes to an end in Colorado, there’s always a chancy few weeks when I’m not quite sure if spring is here or if winter is just waiting for me to get my hopes up so it can crush all my dreams.
Case in point, we planted our garden at the very beginning of June this year, as you do. In fact, we planted both gardens—our huge, family garden down by the barn, and my own small flower garden next to our house.

Then, two days later, it snowed.

Like, six inches.

Thankfully, it was a wet, heavy snow without the freezing temperatures to freeze the ground, and we didn’t have any sprouts up yet to get murdered by the cold, but still. Colorado always has a trick up its sleeve.

I’ve learned not to trust its false springs or cheerful sunshine.

But, it’s the mid-July now, and snow is behind us, so I am starting to relax. Our enormous, three family, barnyard garden is full of zucchini and pumpkin plants that are, thankfully, winning their own battle against the weeds, and we should have an abundance of vegetables—and maybe even some watermelon and cantaloupe—in a month or so.

Gardening in Colorado is always a challenge. Besides the tricky spring snows, we have the altitude to battle (7,000 feet above sea level), and the desert climate, which makes rain an event worth celebrating. Deer jump over the fence and decimate our plants, our chickens do their share of damage while digging for bugs and possibly a few tender roots of baby plants, grasshoppers chew our leaves—and sometimes whole gourds—to bits, and July always greets us with at least one rainstorm that turns to hail.

Still, hope springs eternal, as they say, and every year we plow up our garden and plant our seeds and hope for something better than a whole garden of disappointments.

And yet, despite all the challenges and the very best resistance that Colorado has to offer, we almost always end up with more zucchini than we can feasibly eat, enough pumpkins to satisfy our Halloween cravings, and sometimes even a few surprises in the shape of cantaloupe or a watermelon that really, truly tried its best.

What more could you ask from a garden?

What are you planting this year, if anything? What kind of battles do you have for a good garden around your home? Tell me about it in the comments!