The garden cycle

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Thought some of you might want a vegetable garden update:

The garden has survived an entirety of its first season! The gopher ate half of its bounty, dragging down the plants into the soil (he does NOT like sorrel, eggplant, or Korean perilla, so those are left prospering), and gave my dog no end of anxiety and amusement, but that was part of the deal. I wanted this garden as inspiration for me in a year where I needed some symbol of life itself. And the gopher? He would qualify as life. If my garden could feed him, so be it.

I ate my share of eggplant and sorrel, cut sprigs of herbs. Mostly, I liked looking out the window and seeing the vegetables grow day by day–first as little seedlings and then as they came to maturity. I liked walking out there and collecting dinner. If I needed chives, I wouldn’t have to go to the store to pick some up–I’d just walk out there and cut a few sprigs and chop some up as garnish. Or maybe I’d want a carrot. Ah. I’d just bend over and pluck one out of the soil.

When I planted the thing, planning it out (I planned a little wrong–next time, I’ll turn the rows perpendicular, since the sun casts shadows along the row) and finding the seeds, I had no idea of its outcome. I only had a deep desire to have a garden–it was an act of grief and hope, in the wake of my stroke, in the wake of a death in the family.

But it took off, like a novel–I created the outline, created the characters, and then–then it took off, it rebelled against my plans and created a life and narrative of its own. A gopher showed up, new plants emerged, and the weather took its own twists and turns. I was overjoyed by each turn of events. I gave up control and let the garden run its path.

Now it is Fall. The garden now lags, it looks downright ratty. I thought about letting it go dormant for a season. But–but, but! I couldn’t resist. I’ve decided to plant a winter crop.

Here’s the photo montage…first the garden, newly planted, my handprints still visible on the soil surface:
veggie garden

Seedlings sprout!
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The garden, approaching maturity (and before the gopher shows up):
veggie garden in June

And the garden, as it is today, up at top.

My posts on the garden…

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Filed under Inspiring, Life

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