The Shuttle lost our gardening columnist a couple issues back, so I’m going to jump into the void for this month. Not to give advice, mind you — I’m no expert. Instead, I want to share a few random thoughts about growing stuff and invite you to do likewise.
Every year, when I put my first pepper and tomato seeds into seed trays and turn on the grow lights, I wonder if anything will sprout. And until those first shoots bend up and out of the soil, I have my doubts. What happens after enough of them get started hardly matters; I just need that one bit of reassurance that what I’m doing will pay off.
The anticipation ratchets up when I plant seeds outside. There are so many more variables! This year, I planted peas March 24, and it took until the far end of the germination date and then some before they sprouted. Meanwhile, I examined every bit of green around the cylindrical pea cage on my front hill every few days: Is that it? No. That one? Nope. I’m now going through the same thing with fennel seeds — and on it will go until I’ve planted my last seeds for the season.
While I wait and watch, I also am forced to pay attention to the tiny bits of green I usually ignore. It’s a nice change of pace to focus on the simple beauty of a just-born plant — rests the mind, you might say.
I also love the quiet that surrounds me when working the soil. Besides the significant green space around the ol’ homestead, I also tend a plot in close-to-central Germantown, a spot not known for its restfulness. But in between the ATVs and car stereos representing, there are extended moments of peace — just me, the plot, and the muted whoosh of the Chestnut Hill East train as it glides through.
Tell me your growing story. Email your thoughts and/or photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll save space for these thoughts in next month’s column, if they don’t include a photo. If they do, we’ll post those on Facebook and/or Instagram. Don’t feel like you need to be Martha Stewart here. Then again, if you want to flaunt, go ahead.
Catch you in the pages next month.