We’ve been planting during this amazing weather, my dear husband and I, and each day we are hoping for rain. We put in corn, beans, tomatoes, and parsley. I haven’t put the cucumbers in yet. Perhaps this coming weekend I’ll be able to put the rest of the garden in.
I also planted some herbs, as the winter was hard on them this past year. The mint and oregano have not fared well, which is surprising, as they were always plentiful in the herb patch. I will replant them and hopefully they will be re-established in my garden.
We plant in smaller areas now in an attempt to keep the garden more manageable. It’s not easy, as I have leftover seeds from other years. Do you, dear reader? Deciding to plant seeds that have been around for a long time doesn’t always pan out, I’ve found – still, I keep them.
Several years ago, I gathered wild lupine seeds and scattered them on a bank that is somewhat out of the way in our yard. My father mentioned to me years ago that putting wild seeds in the freezer can make the difference when it comes to sprouting, so I tried this technique with the wild lupine.
Sure enough, the lupine seeds have grown and we’ve replanted them in the perennial beds, and this year we are enjoying the blossoms for the first time. There are the traditional purple colors and several variations of pink that now grace my flower gardens. We think they are extremely fine and have transplanted some into our vegetable garden, hoping they will flourish there as well.
Last year, when weeding the vegetables, there were plenty of daisy plants competing for the space. We dug many of them up and planted them in clumps in the garden. They have bloomed in the past week, along with some tall deep-purple iris, and the effect is a profusion of color that the hummingbirds and butterflies have found.
Part of the fun of gardening is the planning, the dreaming. There is a small shady spot on the north side of my house where several clumps of violets and hosta grow. There are lovely mosses that seem to like it there. I contemplate adding a few ferns and some hardy ground cover to enhance what I like to call my “green garden.” Perry placed a small St. Joseph’s statue among the hosta growing there and I find this quite pleasing. St. Joseph has found his home, and he holds the Christ child in his arms among the green plants, a metaphor of love and safety in that shade.
Home is a feeling, a place, a work in progress of creating shelter and safety. Home is a deep place in my heart that finds expression in the garden. I find the process of keeping one’s home, tending one’s garden, beautifying and shoring up the place that helps us feel sustained as the best solace for my soul.
We are having work done on the house this year – last week, the gutters were replaced on the south side of the house. We can barely wait for a good rain to see how well the gutters work. We hope to have some chimney work done in a few weeks and a new set of steps built as well. These projects will bring a sense of peace to our home, we’re certain of it.
I have a little book about Japanese garden design that I tend to pore over this time of year. It has lovely photographs of zen gardens from around the world. There is something about the careful consideration and placement of stones and plants in the landscape that invites and captivates my heart. The zen sand garden appears to me as a gentle meditation. I love to imagine the caretaker of the garden raking the sand into a subtle pattern of beauty.
What kind of garden are you planting, gentle reader? Is it real or imaginary – hours of labor in the sun and breeze — or is it a place within your soul that you nurture with tender blossoms of memories? As I spend time in the garden, I find my mind is freed to roam, my soul is nourished by this freedom. I sense, feel, and dwell in the presence of the holy, in the garden.