Sunday, March 15, 2009

Green inspiration

I get so sentimental about the garden at this time of year. People roll their eyes, look at their toes, and say, "Um, whatever." It's hard to explain what it is I find so compelling. Sunshine is warm and comforting. Digging in the dirt and holding the crumbling soil in my hands is incredibly satisfying. It is all potential and old friends. Everything is ready to be imagined and re-imagined. The dead twigs and leaves are ready to be trimmed so the new, green leaves are exposed to the light and the rain can reach the soil below.

The plants that return are very welcome too. The peach-colored day lilies from my grandmother's garden are sending up green leaves. A fragrant white peony with frugal red flecks has been in my life since I was a toddler. A division of that plant is sending up curling, rhubarb-colored sprouts.  I'm relieved to see them, which surprises me. I certainly don't lie awake at night to wonder if they will return in the spring. It is more a sense of being reassured that things are as they should be. 

The garden has its drama too. Under last season's foliage, the oregano has stealthily crept through the tarragon plants. A wayward tarragon shoot cropped up on the far side of the oregano. Since the craziness is contained in a raised bed, I'm just going to watch and see what happens. Oregano is a member of the vigorous mint family, but the tarragon is no sissy either.

As of this afternoon, the brussel sprouts seeds and the mesclun mix are scratched into another raised bed. I'm eager to begin harvesting them, and I'm impatiently awaiting the arrival of strawberries. The vegetable garden is full, and this is only the start. The tomatoes and basil may mingle in the flower garden this year. 

See? There is so much to hope for at the beginning of the garden season.