I had vis­i­tors to my potager gar­den in early June. As they wan­dered around, one of the men turned and asked, “Just how much time do you spend gardening?”

Gate to Potager June 2013

Part of me started to panic that per­haps he thought I should spend a bit more time weed­ing and tidy­ing. Then I remem­bered that these folks weren’t gar­den­ers, so his ques­tion was most likely amazed curiosity—something akin to my ask­ing my neigh­bor with more than 20 cats how many cats she has.

Potager June 2013 3

Now, to be fair, I don’t spend nearly as much time gar­den­ing as some peo­ple I know. My friend at Faire­gar­den is out scram­bling around early in the orn­ing every day of every month of every year. She, like Gail at Clay and Lime­stone, even don head-to-toe cloth­ing and net­ting to pro­tect them­selves from the tiger mos­qui­toes in Ten­nessee. And then there’s Layanee’s Rhode Island gar­den at Ledge and Gar­dens—a place so beau­ti­ful she must spend hours and hours keep­ing it just so.

But I do spend a fair amount of time out there gardening.

This year for the first year since we moved here that most of my time hasn’t been spent water­ing and weed­ing. Nature has favored us with reg­u­lar rain and some beds have filled in so that weeds have no place to take hold. I have spent much more time plan­ning and plant­ing, mov­ing plants to new loca­tions and even just walk­ing around and think­ing about things.

Potager June 2013

Although I enjoy the whole process of gar­den­ing, from the dig­ging to the haul­ing to the plant shop­ping (yippee!), I admit that the best of the best is wan­der­ing around and just look­ing at things grow. I never, ever tire of watch­ing how the gar­den changes from day to day and even from hour to hour as the sun moves across the sky. I am amazed at the vari­ety (and quan­tity) of the but­ter­flies and bugs that make their home here. I am grate­ful for hav­ing a sense of smell so that I can appre­ci­ate the gar­den with that sense as well. Hon­ey­suckle, roses, jas­mine and cut hay com­bine to make the air bet­ter than any bot­tled con­coc­tion on sale at Nordstrom.

Potager June 2013 2

So when that fel­low asked me how much time I spend gar­den­ing, my response was sim­ple. “Not nearly enough.”


Be Socia­ble, Share!

10 Responses to “June Potager in Bloom: This is the Reason I Garden”

  1. Gail Says:

    You don’t have to worry about skeeters! Maybe I should lobby Mr I to move. Robin, your gar­den looks won­der­ful and I would love to take a walk with you and then sit on the bench and talk gar­den­ing and life. Thank’s for the link­age, if you ever get to visit, I’ll make sure you have your own skeeter suit! xogail

  2. Kat @Low Tide High Style Says:

    Your gar­den has inspired me to cre­ate a potager gar­den, it truly is lovely!


  3. Frances Says:

    The weather has been most coop­er­a­tive this year here, as well, Robin. Your potager is sub­lime and your answer to the ques­tion was per­fect. Thanks for the link­age and you are so right about the best gar­den time being spent just walk­ing around look­ing at it.

  4. Layanee Says:

    Oh, it looks quite lovely and I have seen that beau­ti­ful potager in person.I still remem­ber that swiss chard. Today it is much to hot to garden…well, those early hours are good but I slept through them unlike Frances.

  5. Susan Harris Says:

    Can’t wait to see it in per­son. And to see YOU.
    And who says we don’t have skeeters in Mary­land???
    Wish we were going to all be gath­er­ing this week in SF. It won’t be the same w/O all the orig­i­nal flingers.

  6. Kylee from Our Little Acre Says:

    Per­fect answer and one that I can totally relate to in all aspects. I get asked that all the time as well. I can’t really give a con­crete answer because you never keep track of the time you spend doing what you love. The time just flies by…

  7. Diane Says:

    Robin your gar­dens are beau­ti­ful, just like you! Thanks for the stroll this AM, as I brace for Mother Nature’s dish of bru­tal tem­per­a­tures and high humidity.

  8. Africanaussie Says:

    Lovely gar­den, and lovely thoughts. Oh I would love to sit a while on that bench of yours and just soak it all in.

  9. A Growing Garden Says:

    Your gar­dens look amaz­ing — just beautiful!

  10. Cathy Thompson Says:

    Oh wow how lovely and you have done an amaz­ing job with this …so lovely .

Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, is now available from Taunton Press. Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for visiting.


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