The Growing Season
The ground up there was ready to turn this weekend. I say this like I know what I’m doing. There are some things you simply cannot assimilate from books. I delve into a garden book and there’s so much jargon I can’t last very long before my eyes glaze over. So many questions, so many terms to set aside in my mind if I plan to slog on through and get to the meat of the subject. This rides on that, that depends on something else, another factor to consider is this, and that all depends on where you are in relation to the sun, stars and moon. I'm feeling like it is going to take forever to do anything more than scratch the surface. Time in the garden changes this idea. I just have to get started and do it and learn. We learned some things from our neighbor last year, mainly that if you put plants in the ground, they might produce very nice tasting vegetables and fruit. And that if you give said fruit to your neighbors, it is good. It is a beginning.
Such luxury to sit and plot out how the garden will grow. I learned last year that things don’t sprout and bloom faster if you stare at them, so while my seeds are tucked and sprinkled appropriately into little starter plugs, I am free to dream a little bit. Like most of my projects, the story begins with my ultimate fantasy. I spend pleasurable hours working on drawings and imagining scenarios, working out my little garden wonderland down to the very last butterfly and chirping cricket, stories unwinding about what could happen as a matter of course if we planted things this way or that way, if we got the correct nutrients, companion plants balanced just so, etc. What I love about this part is the empty page of it, the infinite possibilities.
My dream was cut down to size this past weekend, with cold hard budgetary restraints, lack of physical resources, and lack of stock in the gardening shops. But seeds came from all directions. I took them last summer from things I loved and tucked them dried into envelopes along the way. It seems everyone in the town has seeds for this and that. Mme Martinet sends cuttings from a bush I admired last spring, delivered by her son. We have tons of these stone tiles we can use for paths and borders. From this we have plenty to do.
We are in this together. I hope Mother Nature shows us clemency. I feel that our garden is taking on more meaning with each wedge of earth I loosen, and each clod of roots that he shakes out, one step behind me, back and forth, as we remove last year’s field of flowers, remembering. The baby sleeps in the warmth of the pine paneled room at the top of the house while we work. We are preparing the land for the growing season.