Old Southern Bloom - Flower Bed Prep, Sweet Tea, & Pimento Cheese

I have found, through years of practice, that people garden in order to make something grow, to interact with nature, to share, to find sanctuary, to heal, to honor the earth, to leave a mark. Through gardening, we feel whole as we make our personal work of art upon our land.
— Julie Moir Messervy

In the south we love our flowerbeds, much like sweet tea and pimento cheese on a cool afternoon—they are southern staples. My grandmother had the most spectacularly lush flower beds, perfectly orchestrated for each blooming season, flawlessly pruned and shaped. She had a green thumb I could only dream of having. To be honest, when I was younger, I had no interest in learning the art. I was too busy fishing and sucking on honeysuckle. I sure did love admiring the blooms, though. But now, I wish I would have spent more time with her, hands in the dirt, carefully snipping and curating her gardens.

Now that I have a yard of my own (and my interests have matured a bit) I crave the idea of a backyard oasis, complete with every color and vibrant blooms every season! After all, I live in Charleston, South Carolina-home of elaborate gardens! Have you ever been to Magnolia Plantation? Oh, the blooms. Oh my freaking goodness the blooms!

Over the last couple of years I have dabbled at creating this oasis, but I have quite a long way to go. But, I”m determined and have a set of new tools to work with.

This spring is my season to bloom! I have a few new beds planned, but first, prep. Yes, it is a pain the derriere, or back, literally, but I know the rewards will be fruitful—I hope. I’m even digging out a vegetable garden. Helpful tips are much appreciated!

Prepping a new bed:

  • Choose the best location-How much sun and shade does it get throughout the day?

  • Mark it. Use whatever type of edging you desire.

  • Clear out the vegetation-put your back into it!

  • Turn the soil.

  • Add compost.

  • Turn the soil again.

Easy peezy. Here are a couple of spaces I have chosen to work on.

Spring is coming. Get out and touch the ground, get dirty, breathe in the fresh air, look at the blue skies. You might be amazed at how it makes you feel. You might even work up a sweat—maybe work up an appetite. Bring on the pimento cheese—deliciously paired with crackers, veggies, or maybe just a simple pimento cheese sandwich. Bon Appetit! And happy gardening.