A garden is never so good as it will be next year. ~Thomas Cooper
I think this is what hooks one to gardening: it is the closest one can come to being present at creation. ~Phyllis Theroux
Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts. ~Author Unknown
There is a true Midwestern treasure in the balmy February day – a day when we can clear out the asparagus bed, divide the emerging daffodils, rake leaves that have congregated in the fence line, or pull a hamstring on the tennis court. That same week, temperature will plummet to the teens and four inches of snow will fall. Because I am both a gardener and a school worker, I am equally delighted in February by the occasional 60+ degree day and the snow day called off of school the same week. I love the full and dramatic four seasons of change I get to experience. Precisely because it is not typical, the warm weather is savored and cherished. It is a wonderful lesson in how to live in the moment.
Weeding, that much maligned chore in spring, is actually pleasant on a warm February day when there aren’t that many showing. I even enjoyed turning the soil in the compost bins. After this weekend’s gift of back-to-back 60 degree days, I may have developed a bit of false confidence and optimism that my gardens are under control. I even seeded three of my beds today. A cold frame cover went on but they sunbathed in the open air first. I will sleep with visions of beets, carrots, lettuce, spinach and kale dancing in my dreams. Not every February is a leap year, but every Ohio gardener has to take a leap of faith in February to envision her spring garden.
There is so much potential in a packet of seeds. A seed is the epitome of hope, and it is a metaphor for everything in life. We are all like a seed. Beginning as a newborn baby seed, we pass through various stages on our way to full bloom. Our blossom, like the seed’s, depends on our innate nature and genetics, our environment, and the treatment we receive from those tending or interacting with us. Some seeds and plants are harder to grow than others and need special treatment, some are subject to disease more than others, some bloom only for a short period. Some plants (and ahem, people) irritate us because they take over, and we are continually trying to rid ourselves of them. A collection of miscellaneous seeds – corn, bean, zinnia, radish, kale – is a lot like the gathering of people in a room. We have our basic “seedness” in common, and then uniquenesses begin to emerge. Variety is the spice of life, isn’t it?