Gardening Hopes & Dreams
It’s finished…but the work is only just beginning.
We’ve been completely focused on planting the garden over this past week. Plants and seeds have been settled carefully in the tilled earth — corn and squashes, salad greens and a smorgasbord of herbs, heirloom tomatoes and eggplants, strawberries and jalapeno peppers, nasturtiums and calendula and sunflowers. I’ve got soil under my fingernails and on the knees of my jeans, a pile of damp and dirty garden gloves drying out on the deck, and a notebook full of garden tips and recipes, full of hopes and dreams.
Now the real work begins. Our garden will be busy soaking up the sun and the rain, while I’ll be busy weeding and thinning, watching for insects and disease, training squash vines and tying up tomato plants. It’s work, so much work…but will hopefully be worth every back ache, sunburn, and humidity-induced dizzy spell!
Last year our garden basically failed. Our zucchini plants withered and died (squash borers). Our tomatoes rotted on the vine before they even ripened (tomato blight). Our corn seedlings got washed away in last June’s never-ending monsoon. We didn’t store the butternut squash properly, and wound up with a putrid, oozing mess. Last year was a Murphy’s Law kind of year, as far as our garden was concerned. Whatever could go wrong, did, and in a discouragingly dramatic fashion.
If you had asked me last fall, as we cleaned up our failure of a garden, I would have insisted that I was ready to give up. Ready throw in the towel — or the garden gloves — and not even bother making an effort the following spring. But as winter blanketed the garden, and seed catalogs arrived in the mail, I found myself planning our garden again. I started looking forward to the following season, unwilling to simply give up.
That the thing about gardening — these tiny seeds, these fledgling plants — hold so much potential. Every spring brings the promise of a new beginning. Every year’s garden is a fresh start. How can you not have hope and faith and dreams, when you’re witnessing the wonders of a garden as it grows and changes and (hopefully) thrives in the span of time between planting and harvest?
So I’m hoping for a productive year.
I’m dreaming of produce-filled canning jars and freezer bags.
And I have faith that this year we’ll be enjoying a taste of summer in the dead of winter.