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.”


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  • 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

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


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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.

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

  • Your gar­dens look amaz­ing — just beautiful!

  • Cathy Thompson says:

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

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