We have descended into the garden and caught three hundred slugs. How I love the mixture of the beautiful and the squalid in gardening. It makes it so lifelike. ~ Evelyn Underhill, Letters
Growing up on a farm, I suspect, predisposes one either to love or to hate playing in the dirt. I am a lover of dirt. Playing in the dirt was a childhood regularity, and I’m grateful for parents who encouraged and supported getting mud-luscious. My mother, although not fond of them, never squealed when I brought home the stray garter snake or crawdaddy. My father, the farmer, probably had a permanent layer of dirt on him.
But the smell of it, especially newly turned or just after a rainstorm. And the feel of it, moist not wet, crumbly but not dry. Black sand beaches of a different sort.
Every now and again that urge to play in the dirt takes hold and I attempt to garden. In most recent years, that has been confined to pots on a patio, such as my efforts from last year in the picture above. This year, for the first time in probably 15 years, I will be planting a real garden.
No big expanse of land, mind you, but a little square of earth in which I may grow what I please and be pleased with what I grow. My employer offers staff space in their community garden, and I managed to score half a plot to myself. I’m already late to the game, thanks to my fun weekend, and I’m still plotting what to grow and when to plant in our new climate. Last time I gardened was in the Midwest, so learning what will work here in Virginia is a process.
But I’m excited, looking forward to dirt under my nails and the tender talking to leaves and shoots as they punch through the dirt and reach for the blue sky above.
So, how does your garden grow?
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