Knitters and other crafters will know what I mean when I talk about any WIP's I may have at any given moment. A WIP is a Work In Progress and I think I can safely say that is what my garden is as well. Especially this year, this first year.
I know, too, that if you are a gardener for any length of time, that your garden is actually always a work in progress. There are always plants to be divided and moved or shared with other gardeners. Plants get too big for their britches and need to be relocated or cut down to a more manageable, and often more "flourishable" size.
But this year I am keenly observing: light, shade, drainage. I have to be patient with the garden and myself when I see just how scraggly the front bed with the continual gifted perennial transplants looks.
Next year, I think. Next year... and the year after that. Vision. That's what I have. Vision... and not a great deal of money to spend on plants. So I get them small. Or I get them free from neighbors and friends. And I try to work with the types of flowers and colors given to me.
Next year, when we're not actually building the garden: boxes, fencing, dirt... Next year I'll have a little more money to pick out a few more plants of my own choosing... and maybe take a vacation to boot! :)
Now don't get me wrong. I love, love, love the plants I've been given and the generosity of my fellow gardeners. In fact, that is something that makes gardening such a pleasure. The community aspect of sharing with others and seeing how they use what you have given to them to enhance their own landscape is so fun! But now that I have a basic idea about where light falls in my yard and have a number of anchoring perennials planted, I have new ideas about additional plants that would look just perfect... right there... or right there!
And I have ideas about whether or not I will plant cabbage again next year, considering the cabbage moths seem to love it so. I have learned about row covers and need to decide if that's what I'll do, because that's what I'll need to do if I'm to plant cabbage again. Or... maybe a new plant will find its way into the vegetable bed and we'll just be shopping for cabbage at the farmer's market!
But the vegetables are really the most rewarding for me: their nearly-instant gratification, their beauty, and of course, their function.
My WIP Garden brings me great pleasure as I know it will for years to come. The small handfuls of strawberries and raspberries that we've enjoyed in little bits on cereal will one day be jars of jam and smoothies and muffins and maybe even get us to the day like the neighbors who shared their raspberry canes with us, saying, "We have more than we know what to do with!"
But this year, more than any, will be the one to look back on. The vision is that the spaces of ground I see between plants, the annuals I needed to buy this year to bring a little color will no longer be necessary. And some of the pictures that make me cringe just a little bit will be the ones I point to and say, "Just look how far we've come! Just look how we've made this place home!"