Monday, May 08, 2006

How does your garden grow?

Last post, I promised to tell you more about the little garden I've built out back. Last summer it was mostly toil--I moved lots of dirt, built two stately raised beds (a project that involved pounding stakes, moving more dirt, and some aggressive drilling) and fought a courageous battle against aphids and rose rust. It was satisfying work, in the way that hard physical labor can be satisfying.

But this summer I'm angling for the satisfaction that comes from watching your plants--planted early enough in the spring to enjoy a full, productive growing season--grow and bear fruit. So what is back there? One bed is devoted to herbs, some of which carried over from last year, despite all of the rain. I have two types of parsley, chives, basil, tarragon, sage and three types of thyme, plus a small pot of mint. In the other bed I've planted spinach, mixed salad green, gorgeous blue lake beans and lots of tomatoes. To encourage the beans, I made some little trellises so they could climb high. It's so pretty. Then I planted some icicle radishes, tucked into little six-packs in some fluffy well-nourished soil.

My Meyer lemon tree, as if to show its enthusiasm for its new neighbors, has put out loads of fragrant blossoms. When each blossom falls off, you can see the baby lemon there, ready to grow. I'll post pictures soon, but in the meantime I think that everyone should get out there in their own yard, whether a postage stamp patio, a city balcony or rolling acres in some small New England town and mess around in the dirt. Plant a little rosemary bush, or put a cherry tomato plant in a pot and nibble off of it all season. Mound up some dirt and throw in some watermelons or some zucchini, or build a little tripod from bamboo stakes and watch your beans reach towards the sky. Growing your own food is not only good for your body, it's good for your soul, too. And that's good enough for me.

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