Archive for April, 2011

Expect the unexpected in the garden

Posted by: Heidi

April 25th, 2011 >> my garden, Photos

As the garden tells and retells the well-known story of the changing seasons, there are many things about gardening that are predictable. However, there are still some surprises along the way, some things that can’t be predicted or controlled.

One sunny afternoon near the end of March, the temperature warmed a little and I decided that it might be warm enough to plant a few seeds in my vegetable patch. Just over a week later, I was excited to see the first tiny seedlings starting to poke through the ground, and I felt quite pleased with my early start on growing vegetables. The following week, a surprise hail storm blanketed the ground with a thick coating of ice and my tender little seedlings froze. The next day, after the ice had melted, I found none of them had survived. Fortunately, there are many seeds in a seed package so it was easy to plant more and try again.

The weather influences the garden more than anything else and it is something that we have no control over. This spring, the weather has been even more unpredictable than usual, changing frequently from warm sunshine to cold winds and heavy rain and then back again. Despite the less than hospitable conditions though, some of my favourite spring flowers have started to bloom at last and my second planting of vegetable seeds have started to sprout too.

Each spring is a little different and I never know quite what to expect. Every year at the first sign of warmer weather, I plant a few seeds in hope of an early spring. There’s always a chance that my first planting will be too early, but maybe, if I’m lucky, it might be the year that I have early homegrown vegetables instead.

Whether early or late, I am always grateful to see new growth, and the many colours of spring.

“this is the garden:colours come and go,
frail azures fluttering from night’s outer wing
strong silent greens silently lingering,
absolute lights like baths of golden snow.
This is the garden:pursed lips do blow
upon cool flutes within wide glooms,
and sing 
(of harps celestial to the quivering string)
invisible faces hauntingly and slow.”
~ E. E. Cummings