Sprouting seeds helps me savor the present moment and look forward.
Not long ago, I’d respond to fellow gardeners who would recommend seed starting: “That’s nice, but I don’t have the time.” Then last spring I decided to give seeds a chance. Settling in my new home felt like an ideal time. In our new basement, my husband and I created a make-shift station, florescent lights dangling from adjustable ropes, three shelves, and two plastic curtains to prevent our cat from digging in the dirt. We planted mostly vegetables – six varieties of tomatoes, multi-colored peppers, summer squash, Persian baby cucumbers, broccoli, lettuces, and herbs. Basil and curly parsley grew faster than I anticipated. I grew French marigolds and nasturtium which would protect the vegetables from pests.
March through May, I watered the seeds. As they sprouted, I felt proud and optimistic. Dedicating ten minutes a day to these seedlings caused immediate growth then continual, predictable growth. Soon I realized my dedication was a minor factor contributing to the seeds’ success. Yes, I had bought them, assembled them, and watered them, but they alone possess potential. Harvested from their mothers and fathers, they waited for my simple acts to help them fulfill their destiny. Still, they could have discovered purpose without me; a single seed can easily detach from its parent plant and float to a new destination. I’m humbled to play a small part in nature’s cycle. Mother Nature softly models her virtues – embracing change, letting go, savoring time, and knowing deep down that there is always room for growth.
Mother Nature shows us hope.
Maintaining such faith and hope is easier in the comfort of my basement where a small, sincere effort makes a difference.
I took on more than I could chew in my garden last year. My husband and I transformed our muddy grass into organically-shaped beds – vegetables and wildflowers in the backyard and perennial flowers in the front. Unruly weeds haunt the side of my house, while iris tubers quietly spread underground. The wildflower patch was most successful, and I can figure why. My husband and I spread potent horse manure throughout the space and immediately freed seeds to the wind. Wood shavings grounded the seeds as we accepted their need for independence. When they chose their homes, they clung to the rich soil. We blanketed them with straw and sprayed water on top. Seasoned gardeners giggled at our wild (though prolific) vegetable plants, but they admired the wildflowers growing in their first year. Heirloom Queen Anne’s Lace and Black-eyed Susan took center stage among unclassified blooms. The wildflowers flourished because we set them free with proper tools.
Taking these lessons to heart, I’m organizing my seeds for 2017.
The meme on this page illustrates matter-of-fact optimism.
“Why so optimistic about 2017? What do you think it will bring?”
“I think it will bring flowers.”
“Yes? How come?”
“Because I am planting flowers.”
I relate to the second character in the meme because I’m looking forward to the oval of crocuses emerging in my front yard. I don’t know what 2017 will bring, but I know for sure it will bring flowers.