In my yard is a spot I call my “happy place”. I am free to experiment and do what I want. It is not associated with raising the sheep or any other activity on the farm. It is my space free from sheep, business and other thoughts. Every morning I drink my first cup of coffee and gaze at my corner, watching the activity before the day gets too hot.
My happy place is a spot on the farm that my husband and I laugh at my mistakes, as I made some mistakes while creating this happy spot. One is the “red cabbage”. I like the cabbage plant, as well as the cabbage. This year I thought I had purchased four red cabbage plants on a visit to the nursery. Upon placing the last red cabbage plant in its pot, I saw a label. The label did not identify the plant as red cabbage, the plant is red brussel sprouts.
We laughed, we did not know there was red brussel sprouts. We both eat brussel sprouts, so the fruit these plants produce will not go to waste. I have never grown brussel sprouts, this year will be the first. I enjoy the different color of the plant, purple stems and sage green leaves. The plant gives the spot a variation in color and structure with the strong upright growth. The plant does not bloom colorful flowers, but the fruit or brussel sprout, grows along the stalk of the plant. My husband keeps looking for the fruit, and we laugh as he does not see where it is producing. He has learned to look in the correct place on the plant, and there are lots of fruits forming. The red brussel sprout has been a welcomed surprise to my happy spot, and a plant I will continue to grow.
This year I added some pink roses that are solar lights. In the evening I enjoy looking at my happy spot, and wanted some light and diversity for evening viewing. They add bright color during the day and have attracted hummingbirds. In the early mornings I spotted hummingbirds trying to gather nectar from these artificial blooms. So I added a hummingbird feeder to my happy spot.
The early morning is busy with bees gathering nectar from the squash and pumpkin blooms. The hummingbirds coming in for food. The small birds eating bugs from the trees and plants. And the lone woodpecker, red headed flicker, picking bugs off the trees. These are pleasant to observe as I start my day of busy work.
Currently some of my containers are empty. I plant radishes and onions in them. We have harvested the radishes and onions. I will plant some more seed once the temperatures begin to drop. Our current heat of over 100 degrees fahrenheit makes starting seedlings difficult as the young plants perish in the heat. The tomato plants are not setting fruit for the same reason, too hot.
We harvest summer squash from the one plant in this spot about every three days, adding some fresh vegetables to our meals. The butternut squash plant is several dozen fruits growing along its long trentale stems, but they are green and will not be ready to harvest until fall. Another lesson my husband had to learn after he brought three green butternut squash into the kitchen one evening.
The pumpkin plant is becoming large, covering the beets that finally decided to sprout. I had planted beets in the early spring, only they did not seem to sprout. So I place a pumpkin seed in the center of the small area, as the pumpkin plant could expand onto the grass lawn area. The pumpkin came up, and while adjusting the running stems to go onto the grass area, I discovered beets underneath. How well these beets will grow and develop I will watch as they are heavily shaded by the pumpkin plant. Beside the beets is sweet basil, having been seeded the previous year from the sweet basil I had in a pot. When disturbed the small plants release a sweet pleasant smell. I am also able to use this herb for cooking, and goes well with summer squash.
I have to have one pumpkin plant to produce pumpkins for carving with my granddaughter in October. The size the pumpkin plant obtains, makes for a very invading plant partner as it crowds the plants near it with its every reaching stems, blooms and fruit. I was able to place the few rocks I had gathered around this planting area before the squash plant starting getting too big.
My little happy spot sparks joy at the beginning and during the day. I learned to help with the depression I face daily, it is good to surround my area with things that spark joy, make me feel good about myself and my life.
Do you have a “happy spot”, a place to get away from the daily grind, and just relax? or a place the you feel joy in when you enter? Have you thought about creating your own little “happy spot”?