Springtime in the Garden


In the Garden with Cindy

The smell and taste of onion and garlic chives in my cream cheese turn my whole wheat bagel into a treat. For lunch I’ll have a salad of fresh butter crunch lettuce, spring onions, sliced radishes, boiled eggs, feta cheese and crisp bacon.

I pick a new branch of lavender and complete a bouquet—the smells and sight of these lovely blooms and tender green leaves transport me to times in the past and recent experiences in the garden. My vegetables, the summer squash, eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes, all suffer from shock since being transplanted but I have faith that they will recover, especially with a healthy dose of liquid plant food and water. Some mornings, very early, I go to my garden and pull or hoe out weeds until the sweat and sun drive me into the shade garden. There I divide and replant hostas and daylilies until I’m exhausted. Gardens, like children, grow best when well-tended, so I am pushing myself to put down landscape fabric and mulch to subdue those wretched weeds and grasses and to conserve moisture.

True, there is much to be done in May, but all the rewards in taste, sight, and smell are a strong incentive. I love making my container gardens on my deck. This year I’ve already planted broccoli in two long narrow planters. I’ve also planted several pots of basil, lemon thyme, parsley, and sage in containers to supplement my small herb garden to the side of the deck which contains more parsley, chives, oregano, dill and rosemary. I plan to put two pots of small salad tomatoes on the sunny side of the deck. As for flowers, I’ve already planted two planters of purple and pink “Wave” petunias and attached them to the top railing of the deck. I plan to have the usual pots of plants dripping with plants, cascading down the deck steps. In these I will plant sweet potato vines in bright colors and sun coleuses with yellow, burgundy, purple and reddish orange colors to contrast with the lovely hues of “Million Bells” petunias.

Yes, to be alive in the springtime is to be dazzled by the diverse colors and forms of plants. Garden friends of mine have described this feeling of being driven to plant and weed as “Plant Fever” and I am a victim of this disease. I am truly humbled by all I see and this reminds me of the following song I learned as a small child in bible school:

Oh, who can make a flower? I’m sure I can’t, can you? Oh, who can make a flower? No one but God, ’tis true.

Please take time to plant even a small container of flowers this spring. Better yet, help a small child plant some flowers—the time you spend will be rewarded in planting the “gardening seed” in that child. That is our highest goal, our greatest contribution, to pave the way for another generation of gardeners. If we can do that we’ve given the Earth a brighter future.