With a pandemic sweeping the globe, I questioned whether I ought to write about gardening. Whatever I can possibly say seems very unimportant in comparison to people getting sick, losing jobs, even dying.
But then I thought to myself, well, maybe a time like this is exactly when a subject like gardening is most particularly a comfort.
So much is catawumpus right now, so much is uncertain. But the patterns of the garden remain relatively constant, season by season, year by year.
So from that perspective, here goes…
I Spy . . . Through the Kitchen Window
I’m fortunate, both to work from home and to still be working.
Often, when I head out to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, I’m treated to a view of something happening through the window above the sink. So I thought it would be fun to start the 2020 garden season with a quick rundown of things I’ve spotted over the past month or so.
The red maples are just starting to bloom and, as you can see above and below, the goldfinches are still morphing into their warm-weather plumage.
Early(ish) in March, we had a dusting of snow. I was so happy to get the photo below with a couple of goldfinches because I found the combination of elements so beautiful.
Romance, squirrel-style, which mainly involves a lot of chasing each other up, down, and all around the woods:
Here’s a Carolina wren clinging to a stem of Virginia creeper which is clinging to the trunk of a red oak. (It’s amazing how much happens over the seasons at one single oak tree!)
Closing the photo shoot, a pair of sleek and elegant tufted titmice:
Besides watching the local wildlife when I have the chance to, I’ve been babying my little seedlings.
The various milkweeds and grasses I planted haven’t yet sprouted and the nodding onion seeds haven’t, either. But everything else has.
I’m mostly keeping the seedlings outside so that they’re acclimated to sunshine, wind, and varying temperatures right from their infancy. (Though if the weatherman predicts below-freezing temps, I bring the flats back into the cellar bulkhead overnight, just to be on the safe side. And if it rains, I cover them.)
I’ve had an interest in medicinal herbs since my childhood. With that in mind, I decided to save a bit of the new section of meadow garden for growing some.
So in addition to wild flowers, I have German chamomile and lemon balm seedlings coming along. (The chamomile seedlings are the first out of everything to be growing their first true leaves. But then, they’re annuals, so they grow pretty fast.)
I also have St. John’s wort, comfrey, and sweet violet plants on order. Fingers crossed for those.
And I’ve decided to try my hand with a bit of veggie container gardening – tomatoes, lettuce, and the like.
I really want to try growing ‘Brandywine’ tomatoes. They get pretty big, though, and I don’t have any containers of a suitable size. So I’m going to experiment with fabric pots. They might not be the prettiest, but they were well-rated for durability and weren’t expensive. We’ll see how they work out.
Total for 2020 so far, including seed starting soil, fabric pots, and the various seeds and plants I ordered: $138.33 (That includes the $47.56 I mentioned here.)
I won’t lie. Though things are going well so far with the new garden, there are still plenty of ways they can go wrong. And those risks range from the predictable to the completely unexpected. (Like the year a skunk uprooted almost every seedling I’d just spent a couple of hours planting.)
But I’m hoping for happy results and I’ll keep you posted regardless.
Are you doing any gardening this year?