Press reset and try again

>> Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In my attempt to see every garden blog and website in cyberspace I find many new ideas that appeal to me. I am not above shamefully using these ideas in my own garden in my pursuit to make my garden’s layout more efficient, to be more productive, or in any way make it look better. But when I do use someone else’s idea I promise to give credit to the site I stole the idea from. I hope I can be forgiven for my weakness.

At this beginning of the year, as with every year, my goal is to grow enough food to fill my families larder. And at the end of every year I realize that I have fallen short.

I love gardening, but doggone it I ca’t seem to make these plants produce to their fullest. I am not discouraged, I am not so frustrated that I have ever considered throwing in the towel. I just figure there is more for me to learn. Now, if only I would hurry up and learn it!

Planning the next years garden during winter’s down time is always fun. Deciding where to put plants always leads to visions of over-producing raised beds and trellises trembling with the weight of fat bean, pea vines. Tomatoes as big as my fist, and squash as thick as my arm, always exceed my expectations.

Winter is the great reset button. The slate is wiped clean of last season’s successes and failures to allow us to begin again, to gather up our collective learning experiences and participate once again in nature’s great classroom. We humans have a remarkable talent for remembering mistakes, learning from them and not allowing them to dampen the spirirt that keeps us going back for more.

The promise of next years bounty urges us to take up pencil and paper to put some shape to where we will place this years tomato crop, where to start a new variety of herb or annual flower. A picture of the plot at the front door comes flooding back and alternatives begin to take shape. Maybe we start to envision that new bed on the side of the shed.

You get busy making lists of seeds to start, you prepare containers for winter sowing and seed trays for plants to set out in Spring. Ah, Spring, fresh flowery fragrances riding on warm breezes fill you with the desire to put on your garden gloves and reach for the trowel. Vines reaching for the sun, bees buzzing, birds singing, the fruit of your labors magically ripening ready for picking, meals on the deck with family and friends, winter’s cold wind blowing. . . what? Reality sets in and you find yourself wrapped in a warm blanket sitting in your favorite chair letting your hot chocolate grow cold while you dreamed through next year’s entire growing season.

You sign deeply as you gaze through the window at a foot of snow and remember winter had only just pressed the reset button.


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