"Oh! The things which happened in that garden! If you have never had a garden you cannot understand, and if you have had a garden will know that it would take a whole book to describe all that came to pass there."
--Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
I myself am just a girl with a little kitchen garden...not a master gardener...and not an expert. I can tell you a few thoughts, my own little thoughts, on growing seeds and planting things. I once read that taking care of a garden is like taking care of yourself. In the end, I think that's all you need to know.
I got Martha Stewart's little book on growing seeds, a long time ago, and I love that little book. So my secret garden starts in little pots on my sunporch in February and March. I start tomatoes, flowers, squash and herbs. The healthiest plants will make it into my raised garden bed by May 3rd, the date when danger of frost has passed for my region of the country, the Ozarks.
Find a little pot, a seed, some soil, and stick it in there! Water it. Watch it grow. I have a potting bench where I do my garden work--it is mess and madness and I love it. I consider it part of my garden really. And I think every part of your garden should be a happy place.
Never stop growing. Even after I've planted my starts in my raised bed kitchen garden, I keep planting seeds, such as herbs and flowers, all summer. I always have a little nursery growing with baby basils, dills, parsleys, and marigolds. It's fun!
Make life easy--plant perennials! I have a whole bed of nothing but Thyme. It has English Thyme and Lemon Thyme. This favorite herb of mine goes into roast chicken, homemade breads and my Lemon Lemon-Thyme Squares. I really don't have to do much to this herb bed, and it just comes back more beautiful every year.
Grow what you love. And I LOVE rosemary. It's an energy herb...just the fragrance of it makes you feel good! Every morning when I go out to the garden, I rub a little rosemary in my fingers and the wafts of fragrance release. So nice! Who needs coffee? Well...okay...I do. I love coffee--the mug goes out to the garden with me actually, all part of my happy morning experience. But then, there's rosemary! And like thyme, it is wonderful in roast chicken and breads. It is considered a tender perennial, meaning it does come back, but it would not withstand our Ozark winters, so I keep it in big pots and move it outside for the summer only. I buy my rosemary plants at Christmas-time when they are selling them shaped like a Christmas tree and the price is way better! Just a tip! And my rosemary plants are happy on my Greenhouse sunporch all winter.
Grow what you eat! This was the very first roma tomato to ripen last week--it went right from the vine and immediately onto a juicy turkey cheese burger for dinner! Sooo yummy.
If you really like it, grow a lot of it! Last year I tried wildflowers, grown from seed, in my mailbox garden. For a long time I loved how they looked. But, by September, they really got wild and overgrown. So, I re-thought that one, and this year I planted rose moss in the mailbox garden. The plants spread pretty quickly to take up the whole flowerbox area, and they constantly bloom, they don't get too tall, and they do look like little roses everywhere! So of course, I planted more of it in pots and hanging baskets all around the house. So, in other words, more is more!
Bee thankful. I love to go out to my garden, pick things, plant things, smell things, eat things, think about my garden, plan more gardens, design stitching ideas from my garden, write about my garden, and just be there. If I see a big fat bee, I'm really thankful. I actually worry about the dwindling bee population! I'm thankful for the butterflies too. Is there anything I don't like? |Well, I don't like weeding and sometimes when there's been absolutely no rain, yes, watering can get a little boring. But...that's about it! I try to multitask while I'm watering anyway, so it's all good and well worth it. A garden is a gift, and you should consider it a little glimpse of paradise...and if you have one, be thankful...be very thankful. If you have nothing more than a big pot on a patio somewhere in this world, and it has herbs, flowers and-or vegetables growing in it, then you have a garden. Be thankful.
Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Grow