Friday, February 26, 2010

Garden Dreams

In long, cold, February, the new garden catalogs start to arrive, and I find myself thinking all sorts of impossible things.

"I could grow asparagus, and broccoli, and yellow beans, and sugar snap peas, and green beans, and squash and zucchini...and fruit trees! And berries! And we'll have a flower bed here..."

When we all know that I'm a marginal gardener at best. Possibly improving a teensy bit each year. Come Spring we'll find out what actually made it through the winter. I'm a little worried about the trees, and the bushes I planted in front of the house, and the ornamental grass I got for my birthday and already replaced once. (The local garden store will give you another one, even if you kill it.)

But for now, I'm feeling optimistic, and making plans...have any of you started anything from seed? How'd it go? And do you have a good gardening blog recommendation? Just someone to inspire me a little, give me some hints.

Most of all, when the garden catalogs come in the mail and the snow is swirling outside, I think of this: (From "Emily Climbs" by L.M. Montgomery)

"I love a storm like this at night when I don't have to go out in it," wrote Emily. "Cousin Jimmy and I had a splendid evening planning out our garden and choosing our seeds and plants in the catalogue. Just where the biggest drift is making, behind the summer-house, we are going to have a bed of pink asters, and we are going to give the Golden Ones – who are dreaming under four feet of snow – a background of flowering almond. I love to plan out summer days like this, in the midst of a storm. It makes me feel as if I were winning a victory over something ever so much bigger than myself, just because I have a brain and the storm is nothing but blind, white force – terrible, but blind. I have the same feeling when I sit here cosily by my own dear fire, and hear it raging all around me, and laugh at it. And that is just because over a hundred years ago great-great-grandfather Murray built this house and built it well. I wonder if, a hundred years from now, anybody will win a victory over anything because of something I left or did. It is an inspiring thought.


In the Mix said...

Ooo...I'm dreaming of a garden right now too. (Although, who knows if we'll have a space for one come spring.)
My sister starts things from seed every year. Last year she had a ton of success.
Happy planning!

Susan said...

Oh Emily. So wise and wonderful. Now that I have a yard I can start a garden too. We can learn together!

Melanie said...

Our aspirations are always bigger than our green thumbs turn out to be. :) The seeds we start mostly turn out leggy, get diseased, planted too late, etc. I would recommend making sure your pots are clean, use new potting soil, and florescent lights. My dad always had good success starting from seed--guess I didn't inherit that! :)

I just asked Shelby this week if we were going to try again to have a garden, and he sounded really positive about it! We'll see!

dbilberry said...

We'd love to have a garden, but not sure how to do it with all the trees and our sloped yard which resembles a tiny mountain. Seriously, I will have a camera and lawn chair in tow when Jeff goes to mow it for the first time this spring. It should entertaining to say the least.

The Tidwells said...

I had to comment because you quoted from my favorite LMM series :) My gardening technique is bringing Russ ice water while he does the work, with the occasional weed pulling and harvesting session. I do help plant, but I'm purely a worker bee, no planning by myself. Then I plant annuals in pots (and Russ runs drip lines and puts it all a timer since I forget to water. I'm the only person I know that can kill aloe vera.

The Gray Roach said...

I've been dreaming of a big veggie garden, hopefully this is the year it will happen!

Nanny Smith said...

I know Sarah said Aimee did great with seeds last year, but I thought it was a lot of work for not such a great result. I plan to have a bigger garden this year, but will probably buy plants. (Okay, so maybe I am a little lazy.)

betsyann said...

itm-I've seen amazing things done in containers.


m-It's like being at a buffet-it all looks so good, but then I'm full long before it's over.

db-there's a house in town with a garden in a baby pool. could you fit one of those somewhere?

TT-Emily is Susan's favorite too. We used to get in fights about it. I'm an Anne girl. And I'm terrible about remembering to water. I think Matthew's dad is the one who saves me.

gr-You CAN start small, but I know it's hard. :)

ns-I am also lazy. After one good report and two bad, I think I'm going for plants. Maybe next year. :)