“Kiss of the sun for pardon. Song of the birds for mirth. You’re closer to God’s heart in a
garden than any place else on earth.” — Dorothy Frances Gurney
Yesterday was one of those absolutely perfect weather days. It was sunny. The sky was blue with just a few puffy clouds. The temperature was hovering just over 70 degrees. The spring flowers are in bloom and, despite our lack of rain this year, everything is just bursting forth into bud and leaf.
It was the perfect day to plant my garden and putter in the yard.
This year I am changing things up a little. The garden is still the same circular plot, but I have decided to forego the center fountain of sunflowers. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that it is time for a change. This would be the third year and, while I loved the sunflowers, it will be fun to try something new. The second reason is that I have run out of space to rotate my tomato plants into and the only previously unused space is where the sunflowers were. I could not tell you which was the dominant reason. I wrestled with the “where to put the tomatoes” issue all winter long.
I am changing up the contents of the garden as well. This is radical stuff I tell you. There will be fewer tomato plants this year. I have skipped the small Black Pearl tomatoes entirely. Instead I am concentrating on your garden variety (sorry) big red, luscious tomatoes. I don’t have the space for so many and some of the more exotic heirloom varieties just didn’t produce that well. Also, the Green Zebra tomatoes confused me because I could never tell when they were ripe. They were always green!
In addition to tomatoes, I am planting eggplant, peas (for Jim), cucumbers (with trepidation since the last time we were swimming in cucumbers), carrots, lettuce and herbs. The rosemary, sage and oregano made it through the incredibly mild winter so I am adding three basil plants. I will also have chive, but I have that in a pot because it will otherwise spread everywhere. I have completely abandoned the spoke pattern I used previously. This year’s garden is planted in concentric circles. Everything I have planted is from seeds except the tomatoes, eggplant and basil.
Last week Peter was essential in helping me rent the roto-tiller and get the soil ready. I spent some time yesterday removing any weeds around the edges, the stubborn grass which insists on growing through the fence. I raked the soil smooth and began planting. It was just warm enough to work up a sweat, but the breeze was fresh. It was a potent reminder of how much I love working in the garden. As with my knitting and so many other things I love to do, it is the process rather than the end result which gives me the most satisfaction.
As always when just planted the garden doesn’t look like much. It is more a promise for the future. But soon the seeds will sprout and it will become a garden, rather than a promise. Today we are supposed to have rain and that will start things off.