Peaceful Kingdom

The first month of 2022 has already tested my new word for 2022. Last year’s “Growth” certainly proved profitable and prolific in my little household. I always stand in awe of the power held by a word in focus and intention, and the unpredictable ways that my word will play out in the year. The literal outcome for Growth was that I started and bought more garden plants than I knew what to do with, while the spiritual journey led me to appreciate all that I don’t know and can learn from.

Each day as I stepped outside into my gardens, there were many surprises, some wondrous, and quite a few . . . not so pleasant. As I’ve revealed in previous posts, our urban bungalow lot is home or close neighbor to squirrels, rabbits, skunks, groundhogs and local felines, all of whom can make their presence known in interestingly destructive ways. Last year various deterrents were employed, with physical barriers working best even though chicken wire and row covers aren’t the most attractive solutions. Stinky sprays smelling of garlic and rotten egg were also effective until the rains came, or the critters got used to the smells.

However, the biggest (physically and destructively) perpetrator of them all, remains undeterred for the most part. Even in these last few bleak wintery weeks they have polished off whatever isn’t inert or tied down. As much as I love their quiet demeanors and soft doe eyes, the deer and I have a love-hate relationship in regards to gardens. So much so that I’ve decided that a good wire deer fence is a necessity for these urban herbivores who think that everything I plant is especially for them. And I do mean everything — even strong-smelling herbs and bristly shrubs aren’t off limits. I guess the herd hasn’t read the deer-resistant plant lists yet.

I also plan to continue offering sacrificial plants that they can eat like last summer’s extra tomato plants I stuck in the very back of the yard, an offering to the antlered gods and occasional ground rodent. Various raised bed frames and screens are in the works, too, since we can’t fence in our entire yard at this time. Barricades can make good neighbors and keep the peace in edible turf wars. Therefore, my word for 2022 is “Peace,” both internally and externally. My hope is that we all can experience peaceful communion this year, not only in our backyards, but also in communities, towns, states, countries and the world.

So may it be.

4 thoughts on “Peaceful Kingdom

  1. Amen: so may it be. Your photo is a gorgeous moment of peace, and especially welcome right now. How beautiful those bright colors! Butterflies are peacemakers for gardeners. Deer and rabbits and the rest? Not so much.

    1. I have a whole new appreciation for butterflies now. Hope to see more this year as I continue to plant natives for them and the Mexican sunflowers they can’t resist!

  2. Karen

    Hi Tamara,
    I just want to send greetings and appreciation from the other side of the world (NZ). Like you, I’m a 1960 Cancerian who also loves gardening and painting. Your posts always brighten my day when they arrive, with your thoughts on life’s journey, which are insightful, uplifting and encouraging. Love your artwork as well!

    1. Lovely to meet you, Karen! I wondered who was checking in from NZ for a while now. I’ve never been but a friend who visits there tells me it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth, and a wondrous place to garden and paint. I hope to visit myself someday. Thank you so much for your support.

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