Sunday, January 11, 2009

Garden dreaming

For those of you who are not gardeners, January is when the catalogs start coming in. I've gotten four new seed catalogs so far and am expecting many more. January is the time to start dreaming of that perfect garden that you will have. 

It's the time of the year where you've forgotten the back-breaking labor, the hell that is squash bugs and watering woes in the middle of August.

It's where you start planning in your head all the wonderful things you will grow and enjoy. It's the time where you start mapping out the plot and trying to figure out what new things you'll try. 

As the seed catalogs start to roll in, you go into planning overload where you try to remember why that particular veggie was a bust and why that one did so well. 

I also start mapping out the garden in my head. I've already decided where the corn will grow and hopefully we'll avoid the broken stalks this year, if only I plant them in a certain way. This is the time where I've forgotten the frustrations of last year and am only (foolishly) remembering the delicious bounty.'s the time where a gardener becomes like a child, who still believes in Santa.

I think THIS year, maybe all the squash bugs in the world will have moved on! The awful squash vine borers are all dead and buried! There will be no shortage of water and sunlight! Every seed I put in the ground will grow and be fruitful! The ground will be perfect! 

This is why January is such a fun time. In the cold, dank, nasty winter, you only remember the beauty of the garden. The wonder at watching a seed you purchased for a fraction of a penny burst forth into 30 zucchinis. The moment you bite into the first strawberry of the season and the sugary juice explodes in your mouth. The smell of soil that is rich in nutrients and life. These are the reasons I garden. I love the miracle of it.

Yes, it's hard work. Yes, it's frustrating as hell. Yes, it's not always as fruitful as I dream. 

But nothing worth doing is easy, right?