Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spring growth

sage flowers
When ever its not raining I'm mostly spending time in my garden.  To my eye my efforts are being rewarded with a lot of progress but mostly its still in potential and not very picturesque (except for the sage flowers which are stunning).

bean sprouting

A patch of tilled soil where once there was a tangle of weeds on compacted earth. A raised bed covered in mulch that hides seeds and seedlings from the birds.  Bricks and rocks consolidated from their scattered positions into edges and mulches.  Young trees (mostly) withstanding the spring storms and dog attacks.

nasturtium and mesculun

In my imagination I can see the garden in a few months: already lush, colourful and productive. In a few years it will be entirely transformed.

rainbow chard

But in reality my reward right now comes when I focus on the tiniest intimations of future growth.  The thrill of germinating seeds. The delight of first strawberry nubs reaching out from under their leaves. The curl of a pea tendril reaching for its string or stake.

microgreens (linseed and radish)
I am already eating from the garden (as well as daily microgreens and sprouts grown inside).  Every day or two there's a few leaves of early lettuce and parsley. As I weed I harvest the younger, more tender dandelions to make horta, a Greek dish where the boiled greens are tossed with olive oil, balsamic and kalamata olives: delicious.

mystery brassica uncovered among the weeds 
I'm not exactly a novice gardener but my experience has been patchy and not recent. It's been about 25 years since I last made a serious commitment to starting a large garden of my own. The steep learning curve I'm on now is part of the pleasure.  I know enough not to be devastated by my mistakes and failures (so far mostly seeds that won't sprout). I have become a voracious reader of gardening magazines and blogs as well as a more articulate gawper at other people's gardens.
baby strawberries
The garden is big, my budget is small and thus there are endless opportunities for creativity. This project is as satisfying as any stitching.

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