Cabin Gardening

We made a garden at the cabin in the spring of 2020. A raised bed, hügelkultur-style garden, the borders of which are two 30-foot, spruce logs placed side by side, five feet apart. We closed the ends in with logs as well, and filled the space inside with old rotting branches and clay and sod. Then we topped it off with barnyard compost. This garden grew amazing flowers and vegetables last summer. We mulched it heavily against the dry weeks with grass clippings. Last of all, in the late fall, we put the garden to bed under a thick mat of Nebraska straw that Francis brought up.

The seed pods of forget-me-not flowers and the mint greenery waited under the straw and snow.

This spring the snow melted and the rains washed down into the garden, through the straw and mulch. No doubt the rotting spruce logs were even more soggy. I can certainly hear the bud worms gnawing in them. I pulled the straw away just enough for the seed potatoes and some new strawberry plants and flowers and vegetables. That was in late May or early June.

People warned me that frost would come and destroy my efforts if I planted so early. I felt that somehow this garden provided me exception.

We weren’t going to be living at the cabin full time to water our garden and they said it wouldn’t “make it” in the coming drought. Again, I took exception and went ahead. Elv watered it once late June or early July. And then the predicted drought settled in.

To be honest, with the dire talk, I took down the electric fence and solar fencer, bringing it to the Stone house garden where the resident doe and her fawn kept trimming back the strawberries. The cabin garden was likely toast anyway.

Back up on Buck Mt acres the garden kept growing with no one to watch and admire. We got in up there after dark Friday night so I had to wait till morning to see if my garden truly was toast.

I grabbed my glasses off the night stand and ran over to the window to look. There were blue flowers and white flowers on full bushes of what?

My friend from our seed exchange party said to plant borage next to the strawberries. She was right. Those two plants are best buddies. And the white flowers are potatoes. Fingerling potatoes – huge and lush bushes defying the drought with aplomb.

True, the beans I planted likely fed the rabbits, but I couldn’t be happier with this funny little northern garden.

Now, I’m wondering if we can make another garden just like it. I can visualize root crops and berries with borage and buckwheat keeping time with the faithful forget-me-nots year after year.

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