The seeds I ordered arrived this week. I feel like it's Chistmas all over again. I know, it's silly, getting excited over a bunch of little envelopes, but I can hardly wait to get started. My health is a bit better this year, and I am determined to return to gardening full force come spring. (I say with my nose pressed to the frosty window, looking out at the windblown snow.) But my fingers need to be in the dirt again. My soul needs it.
Carrots, green beans, cape gooseberries, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, zucchini, dry beans, winter squash, lettuce, spinach, radishes, rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries, onions, peas... my mouth is watering. I know I eat a more healthy diet when I grow my own vegetables. The sad limp things in the grocery store just don't inspire me. When you pick something fresh from your own backyard, you can feel the vitality of it, the energy, still alive in your mouth.
I have spent a lot of time doodling plans for the layout of the garden. Do I go with heaped earth or raised beds? They say a spiral is the most bang for your buck, but that's hard to do in a decidedly rectangular yard. How can I eke out every possible inch of growing space and still have room for paths and wheelbarrow access? Should I bring in more triple mix this year? Till or not till? Do I have enough compost? How can I use more vertical space? What do I do about a watering system? Is the maple tree casting too much shade over the vegetable space?
All of these things swirl around in my mind. There are a lot of decisions to make and plans to plot, so there is enough to keep me occupied until spring, when I can get out in the yard and get started. Other people are planning summer vacations, summer jobs, visits with friends and family. I suppose I'm doing the same, really -- my backyard is my vacation spot, my job, and the garden is an old friend. I wonder if it has missed me.