My first desire to garden hit me when I was nine years old. We had a large yard in suburban Kansas covered with grass. My parents told me I could use a back corner to do what I wish with it. The problem was, that noone helped me. I remember standing there with a shovel trying to dig out the zoysia grass to start a garden. Obviously, I failed.
As the years went by I found other like-minded people who I was blessed to garden with. This became my study, my learning ground. I’m not a master gardener and in fact, have taken few classes. I’m what I call a Hit and Miss gardener. I throw seeds out, I plant seedlings, I grow seedlings and I wait to see what will happen each year. Of course, I have learned a lot through experience over the years. The garden is a mysterious place, however, and even when I do what I think is the right thing to do, I end up with a variety of results.
To be a gardener, I must maintain a certain sense of inquiry and risk. Each season I keep hoping for something edible to grow. As you’ve seen in previous posts, one of this year’s surprises is my purple broccoli.
This broccoli (all of them) has grown to amazing heights and seems even happier now that we had frost for a couple of nights.The purple has returned to the stems and leaves and is just gorgeous! It still hasn’t given me a head to eat and doesn’t look like its going to. But, as I enjoy the beauty of each plant even when it is different than expected, I am waiting to see what will happen.
There’s a time each season, when I get a strong urge to rip out what’s growing and start clearing the yard. As a primarily intuitive person, I allow myself to do that (unless Ofer yells at me to stop). I’ve found that leaving in the volunteers that are happy, like this tomato that still looks good in spite of the cold, I am able to take advantage of information they provide for the next time.
As with many people, I am less experienced at the winter garden. I tend not to start it early enough. And then, when it gets cold and rainy, I prefer to stay inside. When we first moved here, I placed the garden too far back into the yard and completely forgot about the broccoli I had planted. I have learned to listen more closely to what the energy of the yard is calling for, so I can now grow more successfully throughout the garden. Choosing the placement of the plants is an interesting inquiry and can be assisted through meditation, feng shui and intuitive design techniques.
It’s still hit or miss though. So, don’t be upset if something doesn’t grow well. Maybe it just needs to be moved to a better place or started a little earlier. Maybe more or less water or sunshine. A little shade goes a long way for some plants. Paying attention to where the plant originates makes a huge difference. In this area, we are blessed with weather that allows year-round growing and Mediterranean plants (like many culinary herbs) do well here. Personally, I prefer to get as many natives as I can to keep the watering needs low and the likelihood of success higher.
The best attitude for me as a gardener is to feel comfortable with experimenting, not always getting it right, being willing to try again and gain my joy from the process and enjoying the successes where they manifest!
A Hit and Miss Gardener.