Gardening has a lot in common with painting a landscape. Every spring, the Almighty creates the joy of new life by painting nature with color, shapes & textures we hadn’t seen since last spring. It’s a gardener’s task to try our best to maximize all of nature’s delights in the confines of our own space. That space may be a big or small yard, pots on a deck or patio, or just a few plants by a sunny window. It’s not the size of your space that matters; it’s the love that you put into your growing experience.
Each of us has our favorite plants to grow; whether they are perennial or annual flowers, vegetables, herbs or all of the above. Waiting for the proper time to plant these delights is a very challenging part of be-ing a good gardener. For example, how many times have you planted tomatoes in early April (they look so healthy at Pike & Home Depot, don’t they?), only to watch them shrivel-up in your garden during that early spring cold burst. Now, my wife and I just admire those beautiful vegetables at garden centers in April, and plant in May.
Over the years, we have attended a dozen gardening classes and purchased many gardening books; they all pretty much say the same thing. Before you start your spring garden: Have a strategic plan, map out where you want each plant, have the right tools (usually the most expensive ones), amend your soil, create a focal point, design “Garden Rooms,” identify optimum sun-shade ratios, send soil samples to the extension office for PH computer printouts, and on and on it goes. Well, I was in corporate marketing for 40 years and I don’t want to deal anymore with computer printouts or optimum ratios. Most of us are not interested in per-fection; we want gardening to be good outdoor exercise and fun. So if a plant is not getting enough sun, we don’t call the extension office, we just move it to a sunnier location.
We also are not worrying about creating “Garden Rooms.” We have invited all our plants to visit each other in one great outdoor room we call our garden. We enjoy each and every bloom and especially their fragrance, im-pressing our nose with every sniff. Gardening isn’t a conundrum; it’s a magical gift of nature. The other part of the magic is that you leave part of yourself in the garden for others to enjoy.