If you have not already planted your spring garden, this weekend is the perfect time to put out those transplants that you have been babying and also plant lots of other things from seed. I have not planted yet so this will be a busy weekend for me. I realize that many of you took advantage of the unusually warm “winter” weather we have been experiencing and planted a little early. Great! You took a chance and you will be rewarded with early harvests.
I did not plant early. This is partly because I am not much of a gambler and partly because life got in the way again. I have learned that life is a whole lot like the weather. While you can prepare for the storms you don’t know when they will come. Luckily this storm is going to pass with very little damage. However, it did sideline my dreams of a large, magazine worthy spring garden.
I worked very hard this winter to get my dream garden ready. I finally finished the granite walk path that runs from my deck all the way through my main gardens. I also installed six water spigots that will eventually provide water to my drip irrigation system that will water twelve 35’ long rows. Despite these valiant efforts, my dream garden will have to wait until the fall. Oh well, such is life. Sometimes things happen and gardens just don’t get planted on time.
In the space I have available in my plain, old, six row, crowed garden, I will plant cucumbers and contender bush beans from seed and Tomato and squash transplants. If you are new to gardening know that there are many, many things that can be planted now (check out Patty Leander’s planting guide here). While I will be growing contender bush beans you can plant all types of bush and vine beans. You can also plant Southern Peas like Purple Hulls, Creamers and Crowders. If beans are not your thing you can plant sweet potatoes from slips or from potato pieces just like you do your Irish potatoes. In my opinion it is a little early for melon and gourds but I have some growing out of my compost pile so nature apparently says plant them now too. Got a taste for hot, buttered sweet corn straight form the garden? Plant it now. It is also a great time to plant pumpkins. I have 50/50 luck with pumpkins. Sometimes they do well and sometimes bugs and fungus get to them before they get half grown. My best pumpkins ever grew out of the compost pile on accident. Because of this, I am truly going to throw some pumpkin seed in the compost pile and see what happens.
Even though I did not get the garden of my dreams this spring, I am thankful for the garden I have. I have come to realize that it is not what, or how much, I grow that really matters. What really matters is being outside tilling the soil, pulling weeds, watering transplants, checking the poppies and larkspur to try and figure out when they are going to bloom, enjoying the bluebonnets or watching the first martins of the year return to their house. Maybe this is why my garden expansion didn’t happen. I just didn’t get to it. When I am outside I am truly inspired, and often distracted, by the glory of the world that surrounds me. And that’s ok. While life happens, like nature, it is mostly a beautiful thing. When I am in my garden I am surrounded by, and reminded of, the blessings of my own life and the majesty of my creator’s greatest creation.
So tomorrow, when you are out there weeding, tilling and planting be sure to take time to enjoy this most beautiful time of the year. Before you pull that dandelion, notice what a delicate, beautiful and perfectly designed flower it is. Enjoy the song of the mockingbird that is trying to lure a girlfriend into his nest and revel in the sight and smell of the beautiful roses that are blooming early this year. For a long time now, I have realized that the act of gardening is much more than the art of growing food. While all of your efforts will fill your stomach, it is still times between all of the activity that will feed your soul.
Happy Spring y’ all and happy gardening!
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