All around spring is flowering in the branches. The croaking of the Sandhill cranes will now and then fill the blue-clouded skies as they pass along on their long pilgrimage. From out of the earth the green force of life is brimming in a flowery haze, all things stretching forth with new, fresh growth.
Except for the cats. It is very warm weather for thick, fur coats.
What comes to life a little while after it is buried?
This week and last has been very busy with planting seeds. I love all the shapes and sizes of the hopes and dreams of the plants. The amaranth seeds that are so small and shiny, the silver-edged pumpkin seeds, the nasturtium seeds that look like little brains, and the zinnia seeds that are so dry and brittle you would never think they are alive.
It is once again time to dream about tomatoes and squash and melons and sweet corn. I’ve got seeds saved from my own garden, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Baker Creek Heirloom seeds, The Southern Heritage Seed Collective, and Adaptive seeds, as well as a few new seed companies – Renee’s Garden, Swallowtail Seeds, Floret, and Urban Farmer.
But to be honest, i have mixed feelings about leaving my now-garden behind. I hope it doesn’t sound like bragging to say that this garden, stretching so green and beautiful from gate to gate, is my dream garden growing here in real life.
Not only is it beautiful, but it has everything i could possibly desire. Rows and rows of many kinds of lettuces, so different in color, shapes and textures.
Prosperous heads of cabbage…
Forests of many kinds of kale…
The dusky beauty of purple Brussels sprouts (and green ones too)
The most beautiful Swiss chard I’ve ever seen – Joy’s midnight from Adaptive seeds.
Violetta Italia cauliflower from Baker Creek (it is actually a broccoli)
Rows and rows of onions!
The garden- within-a- garden sweet pea trellises, with extra fencing to ward off rabbits.
Many colors and kinds of beets and carrots and radishes.
And then the rare vegetables… Not really rare but no one else seems to have grown them here…
The cardoon and salsify, celeriac and pink celery.
And then there are the grains – the rice and oats and barley and wheat, many kinds from many lands.
Poems run in my thoughts when i watch the spring breezes ripple through the verdant ranks…
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye
That clothe the wold and meet the sky…
(Remembered, perhaps incorrectly, from Tennyson’s “Lady of Shallot”)
And there are bright flowers and herbs.
It is a good place, this garden. Built with mulch and manure and compost, sweat and 5 gallon buckets, pitchfork and shovel, pig and scythe. For so many seasons over 10 now years, so many gardens have lived here first, one on top of the other, growing more wonderful every year.
So if you were wondering what i have been doing lately, I’ve just been here, soaking up the green and the sweet smells.