Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Garden Update - Spring is in the Air

Several months ago, I wrote about the hope that gardens bring. For many of us, we are starting to experience the benefits of that hope. For my friends in the southern hemisphere, your hope is quickly dying with the coming winter months. I'm sorry, but now you get to begin hoping for spring in the next six months. Such is the circle of life...

I figured I would share an update with everybody on the state of the garden. My family and I have been hard at work, and we have experienced many successes as well as some failures. Here is what we currently have growing in our yard:

Trees - orange, lemon, pomegranate, apricot, blood orange, Pink Lady apple, Einsheimer apple, Clementine tangerine, and peach.

Fruits, vegetables, and herbs - grapes (two varieties), carrots, tomatoes (five varieties of grape/cherry tomatoes), cucumbers, sweet peppers, hot peppers, artichokes, watermelon (three varieties), strawberries (two varieties), rosemary, cilantro, basil, lavender, sage, peppermint, spearmint, oregano, and some sort of volunteer squash (uncomposted seeds that sprouted in the compost).

This seems like quite a bit, and it is. Like I've said numerous times, I love being outside gardening. I love watching my kids get dirty. I love the look of joy when they find a ripe tomato and eat it. I even somewhat like it when they get impatient and pick a tomato to eat before it is quite ripe. That childlike excitement is something that keeps me somewhat normal and balanced. Somewhat...

Here's the deal. This list of what we have growing in our garden is what continues to give me hope. We have started harvesting tomatoes, but several of our fruit trees won't bear fruit this year. This is the year to help their roots develop, to keep them healthy and growing, and to sow into the future harvests that I'm looking forward to. Perhaps this is a metaphor for providing my children with a quality upbringing so they can take care of me in the future?

To those of you who are beginning to enjoy the harvest from your gardens, congratulations! Your hard work is starting to pay off. Enjoy what you grow and let it be an encouragement for future plantings.

To those of you who are just getting out from under the snow and cold weather, be encouraged! Start enjoying the warmer weather and get excited every time you see a bloom, blossom, sprout or bud.

To those of you who are getting ready to experience winter, I hope it was a happy planting season. Hopefully you learned a little more about your garden, your climate, and the things that you grew.

And finally, to those of you who have never experienced gardening, give it a try! I wasn't much of a gardener until I saw that 12-year-olds could grow things at school, and that encouraged me to see what I could do. That experience proved to be life changing (for the better), and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time outside ever since then. Find a little patch of ground, put some seeds into it, and see what happens. Gardening is one big experiment. Sometimes you get what you're looking for, and sometimes you end up with a garden full of squash. But as with most endeavors, the joy comes in the journey and not solely the outcome.

Happy gardening, friends. And may the soil conditions be ever in your favor!

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