15.5.11

gardening is an exercise in hope

the big overview
husband and i were laughing yesterday as we planted a few more things in the vegetable garden and looked back a year and thought about the few seeds we threw at the ground when we first moved here. we hastily prepared the soil, planted before it was warm enough and most of our peas and beans were surely eaten by birds before they ever came up. this year, it's a different story. tho' the garden isn't there yet, we're moving in the right direction.

the main garden - 12m of healthy strawberries on the left.
the strawberries are going to be a bumper crop - you can see the healthy robust 12-meter row of strawberries on the left and the smaller new ones in the foreground. next to those are rows of potatoes and various kinds of fancy beans. the green weedy-looking bits in the middle are rows of little oak trees and little christmas trees that were left behind by the previous owners and which we haven't had the heart to dig up, except to begin an oak allé across our field and down to the lake. in the top photo (and below), there's a raised bed filled with various brassicas (my new favorite word) - cauliflower, broccoli, white and red cabbage. per amy's advice, i've planted marigolds here and there, since we don't want to use pesticides (or herbicides for that matter).

brassica bed (and tiger the cat)
we've got artichokes down at the far end and a row of asparagus next to the rhubarb (visible on the left of the top shot). asparagus is a vegetable that requires patience. you can't actually begin to harvest it before the third year (talk about slow food!). i even planted some asparagus seeds, completely not following the directions, and every single one of them came up, so much more asparagus will be going in as soon as it has roots enough to set it out. the asparagus should love our sandy soil. we prepared the area last autumn, digging in plenty of good horse manure, and the asparagus seems pleased so far. and it's a good exercise in patience, to wait three years to reap the benefits.

we've planted peas, carrots, four kinds of onions, leeks, tuscan kale, curly kale (which the bunnies and chickens that i hope will come this summer will love next winter), garlic, zucchini, pumpkins, butternut squash, corn, parsnips, beets and several kinds of salad. they keep promising us rain and we got a bit today and hope we get more in the coming days. then we hope the sun returns.

gardening is a kind of exercise in hope. you hope conditions will be right, you hope for sunshine and rain in the right quantities, you hope those tiny seeds will grow into big, beautiful edible veggies, you hope no bugs or slugs will eat it all up before you can. hope and a lot of hard work. but already i think it will be worth it.

2 comments:

rayfamily said...

You hit the nail on the head there! We are constantly monitoring weather conditions, nursing and coaxing our seedlings, and hoping. One of our favorite things to to peruse the garden in the morning before work, and then grab a glass of wine and walk the property and check progress every evening.

Your garden looks fantastic! It is really taking shape. Take lots of pictures (like you wouldn't :)....It's so fun to watch the progress over the season, and a great comparison point for dates & times when you start out next year! We are always looking back to gauge this year against the previous ones.

Clare Wassermann said...

It's really getting there. Here we have allotments in the UK. You can rent a veg patch from the local council at a very modest fee. They have been around for a hundred years. I have had one for 6 but have just given it up due to a bad back. Now I am starting my first year growing at home in my back garden. It's nice just to step out and do a spot of weeding in the odd 20 minutes, whereas before I had to plan a visit to my plot and go in the car or on my bike.I like this idea I have now of making an edible garden in amongst the bushes and flowers and on a small plot at the bottom of the garden.
Gardening makes sense of the seasons x