There is a saying that you can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. You can grow a lot of joy too. I once had a theatre professor who actually wrote a play called "Seeds of Joy." It had a few runs in a couple of different cities, and I was in it during one of those runs. All I can remember is that I played a disfigured woman with a piece of black lace over my entire head--you never saw my face. I was in one scene. Talk about no joy and a thankless role! Hmmmf! (uh-oh, the diva is surfacing)
But let's face it. You can't be a diva when you're digging in the dirt. You plant these little seeds, and they do bring a lot of joy, because they need you. Taking care of your garden is like taking care of yourself. Planting, repotting, digging, weeding, pulling, watering, pruning...things start growing. Including your humble spirit. You work and work on it, and one day, you walk out there on a sparkling, clear, sunny summer morning, inhaling the fragrance and looking at your live artwork as you sip a big mug of coffee, and something occurs to you. This must have been the root of at least one moment that someone experienced in the Garden of Eden. (before all that ugly business with the snake, which by the way could have been solved simply by having a few cats around) Wait. Did Eve have her coffee? I hope so. It seems like paradise would not have been complete without some coffee beans. Anway, there in your garden, all of this wonderful, blooming, herb and veggie basket of paradise is there before you, like magic. Sometimes I see those shows about how the sun could blast the Earth at any moment, and the Mayans think it's all going to be over by 2012. So I never take a moment in my garden for granted.
|Mesclun lettuce seeds go right into the garden in March--they like cool weather.|
I think God blesses you in a garden. I know it is a gift, and something I'm so fortunate to have each summer. I can't wait until the time comes again when I can pick some sprigs of lemon thyme and eat another sweet, warm tomato freshly escaped from its vine.
Ahh. Garden dreams. And so, the prep work begins now. I go through dozens of stored seeds, and make some choices. Then I turn to Burpee and do some catalog shopping for more seeds. I sketch out a new plan--I have one big middle plot and three raised beds to the side--I want to make the most of the space and plant my favorite herbs, veggies, and cutting flowers. In the second week of February, I start the first tray of tomato seeds. Each week, I plant more trays of vegetables, herbs and flowers on my greenhouse sunporch, and it fills up until we can't hardly walk around out there. As the plants get healthy, some get transferred into bigger pots, and wait for their day.
In March the lettuce and radish seeds go right into the garden and get to have the space all to themselves for a while! My husband goes out and works the soil for me, and I tend to all the seedlings spending their childhood on my greenhouse. The first planting day in early May is when I am on my hands and knees, crawling around the garden bed and happily planting. I have to make sure I give some starts enough space, and yet I want to work in as many plants as possible. I also plant some seeds with the starts, like a few zukes and spaghetti squash which seems to do really well when grown right in the garden from seed. I also trim the garden in marigold starts and seeds--their natural antioxidants guard against some diseases and pests--probably more than I'll ever know! But I like to keep things organic.
So here we are in January. There are HUGE snow flakes falling outside my window in the Ozarks right now. My greenhouse is happily yet sadly clean and spacious--save for the plants that are enjoying their overwintering time, and of course my cats who love to sun themselves out there. Tonight, it's me, a cup of chamomile-vanilla tea, and a Burpee catalog. Seeds. Joy.
Eat from the garden, Write about your garden, Dream of your garden, Sew Seeds at all times.