The first day of spring is Sunday! Our world is certainly looking mudlucious, with rain loosening the soil, and releasing it through the back door, and it is now trailing across the kitchen floor onto Luke the wonder dog’s bed. He is scampering around the back yard, waiting for squirrels to fall through the sky at his feet, while he sniffs the mystery smell of creatures who passed through his territory during the night. He is appreciating all the possibilities.
I am perched at the kitchen counter, with a stash of gardening catalogues whispering their siren songs. I am always so gullible. And so persuadable. A veritable pushover for a slick, shiny catalogue with bowers of well-tended flowers, climbing ropes of wisteria, bountiful tomatoes and billowing container gardens. I need to get a grip. None of the wisteria I planted 5 years ago has ever blossomed. My raised garden bed is a disgrace. Even the industrial-sized metal containers I bought for the tomato crop last year were sadly neglected. My short attention span has been the death of my annual garden visions and dreams. No wonder I am popular at the farmers’ market – I will always be their target market.
This year I am trying something which is not new, it has been done in countless classrooms across the world, as an observational science experiment – growing seeds in eggshells in egg cartons. We are recycling, composting and learning how to grow a manageable garden on a reasonable scale, which any adult person should be able to tend. Wish me luck.
I am not a bad gardener, just lazy. Right now we have lots of daffodils in bloom, because it is easy to dig a few trenches and toss in dozens of bulbs every fall. But ask me to weed in July? I’m sorry. I have a book to read, and some air conditioning to curl up with.
That’s why I thought a raised garden bed would do the trick. I would have a small, contained space in which to grow my summer crops. Instead I got cranky about having to lean over the chicken wire that I had to string up to guard against the damn bunnies. (Said bunnies and their taller friends, the deer, are enjoying the bounty of delicious tulips and grape hyacinths in the front yard – it seems that Luke the wonder dog does not hear what happens in the front yard at night. I’m feeling a wee bit vulnerable. He has probably shown them where the good silver is stashed, too.)
I am going to simplify this time, she typed yet again. Considering our weekly pizza routine, I think that a pizza garden will just fit the bill. I’ve already started some tomato, basil, oregano and pepper seeds. We have a couple of window sills that get a reasonable amount of sunshine, and it has been warm enough this week to move the egg cartons around the back porch, chasing the wan sunlight for a few hours a day. I will undoubtedly stop by the garden center for some more established tomato plants in a couple of weeks, but until then, I am growing a little garden, one that doesn’t require weeding, that is safe from the bunnies, and in a couple of months I’ll be able to scatter leaves across a pizza, and feel proud of my handiwork.
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
whistles far and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
when the world is puddle-wonderful
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and