Every spring I go through this crazy ritual. I think my neighbors just expect to see me lying on the ground, scratching the surface of the newly thawed soil and taking pictures of what they may think is just dirt. But as gardeners know it is so much more….you see we are waiting patiently (maybe) for the first sign of the green sprouts of crocus, dwarf Dutch iris, Snowdrops, Glory of the Snow or Winter Aconite to come shooting up through the soil. We want to see that flower bud ready to unfurl against the stark grey, brown of the soil. The pictures here are of these wonderful early bloomers.
I also start to scan the surface of the pond as the weather warms for signs of the first frog to venture in and set up a home. On this cold and snowy day in winter I am finding myself impatient, short tempered and a bit angry. What in the world is going on with me? As I delve in to examine these not so pleasant emotions it hits me. I am in heavy garden withdrawal. I need a fix and I need it bad. I have come to rely on my garden as therapy, but it is a double edged sword because it is the thing I am addicted to that I need in my life to center me, to bring me joy…it is my bliss…
But alas the winter snow and frozen ground is here to stay for a couple more months at least. I know this but it doesn’t help make the time move any faster to spring. And really time is so precious that I don’t want it to fly by so I can get to spring. This has become abundantly clear to me as I have reached my 50s. So in the depths of this wintry day, what better time to join in the World Garden Blog Carnival hosted by my little Garden in Japan to think about my garden resolutions.
As a child, I loved the snow. Loved to play in it. Of course as a kid I could play in any weather and love it. And maybe that is where I have lost my joy. I find that my life has little time for play, but when I do play it is in the garden. I lose myself completely to the soil and the trowel. I dig for hours and feel no pain (until later). I explore, watch and listen to the wonderful creatures that have taken up residence. I taste the warm fruit and vegetables I have actually grown as I pick them from the garden.
So why don’t I have time to play? I could blame it on adult responsibilities of work; obligations I have to fulfill, but really these are mere excuses, obstacles I have lain in my own path. I had forgotten how to play and have fun even in the garden. I discovered this fact last summer. So I spent all my time outdoors during the summer and early fall doing the things I loved. But now with the winter, it is easy to closet myself indoors. I invent the obstacles-it’s cold, it’s snowing too hard, it’s dark (well that one is real and on my dark street makes it unsafe).
So how do I re-energize myself? How do I motivate myself to play again with childlike abandon and fight against the obstacles of weather and time?
I go back to the soil in winter, the soil inside. I grew seeds indoors last winter and although I had success at first, mine fell victim to “spindly syndrome”-as I call it. They were long and thin of stem and short on leaves. So this winter, I have decided to buy myself a Grow Light. I researched the type I wanted. It had to be table top with T-5 fluorescent bulbs (these are rated the best for indoor grow lights). It has “two high-efficiency T-5 fluorescent bulbs to produce more bright, full-spectrum light than old-style fluorescents, yet use 20% less electricity….uses less electricity than a 50 watt bulb..”
It has arrived and I plan to soon to grow some herbs and greens such as lettuce indoors. I have the soil, seed, heat mat and now the light. This experiment will allow me to see how to adjust the elements I need when I start my other seeds for the garden in February. I plan to keep a journal and take pictures to let you know how it goes.
And I must get outside, even at work if it is for a few minutes at a time. To change the scenery and breath in fresh air. I am taking my camera to work. The school where the District Office is housed has lovely woods in among the houses in this small city. Perfect for lovely winter shots. No excuses….time to fight against any obstacles real or imaginary…time to go play and enjoy myself each day just a little…
Oh and as for the rest of the garden resolutions this coming year….well we have expanded the veggie garden and we plan to plant veggies among the rest of the garden. We are planning another rain garden to help with run off and a small cutting garden in a raised bed made from a reclaimed pond…think that should hold me!!
Plant the seed of desire in your mind and it forms a nucleus with power to attract to itself everything needed for its fulfillment. ~ Robert Collier