Monday, January 25, 2010

dream time.


It is dark, cold and gray outside - but I've been dreaming. Dreaming about the garden. This time of year is for planning and plotting and reading and dreaming.


I sit with notebooks, seed catalogs, books and magazines. I peruse with a morning cup of tea in hand, at night when everyone is in bed (but me), or whenever I have a few minutes.


I catalog the seeds I still have. Look at notes of what worked/didn't work last year. Plan how to expand growing area in our tiny full yard. Sketch trellises, tripods, containers, vertical lines, and raised beds.


I make lists of what seeds to buy. Think about seed starting calendars and timelines - about cold frames, water barrels, rain gardens and herbs. I read about bed rotations and companion planting.


And while it is dark, gray and cold outside, I envision the lush green, the vines, the soil. I remember the hot summer nights watering, picking and weeding. I remember the bees, the praying mantises, the birds.


I wonder how I can fit in more flowers, more herbs, more color, more fragrance, and still grow more food (in so little space!). I remember little hands helping me plant, dig, water, harvest.


I think about the baskets of juicy tomatoes we had last summer. Colanders full of herbs, vegetables and fruit. I want to try new varieties, new flavors, new textures, new colors.

So while it may be a dark, gray and cold mid-winters day, there is a bit of my summer garden right here in my head.


What are you doing different this year in your garden? Expanding? Trying new things? What is inspiring you right now?

15 comments:

Carin said...

We only really started planting our garden last year, so this year is all about building on what we started. I'm pouring over seed catalogues and magazines in search of ideas.

Amber said...

looks so dreamy, so different from our colors here at the moment...beautiful though..xx

eidolons said...

This year I'm determined to grow more than just two tomatoes. Plans of having a tomato patch *right there* in the middle of everything, just to get enough sun have been brewing in my mind. And possibly some indoor gardening as well. I've never been able to grow mint outside - perhaps it's just too hot here in Florida? So I thought maybe I'd make a caged (to protect it from the cats) one-pot herb garden to set inside the big windows in our living room.

My ideas are mostly hair-brained right now. And I blame my crazy pregnancy-induced nesting thing.

My inspiration comes from the wonderful blogs I read, mostly. But sometimes I think of the joy of plucking a ripe piece of food right off the plant and knowing that *I* helped it grow.

Stephanie said...

I'm not ready yet, this year. Still in my "settling in" period.
:)
Course, that could change any minute!

Chris said...

We are in a new house, new garden, new possibilities! We have more trees in this garden which means less sunlight...my old garden was in full sunlight all day long and was a massive producer of gorgeous homegrown veggies all summer!
So far just perusing the Jung's catalog & planning a tree house for our boys and just got a book from the library on how to bring more birds & wildlife into your garden.

These cold WI winters are made for garden dreaming though, aren't they?!

Nikki said...

I'm actually scaling back. Last year I got too much of some stuff (patty pan squash), the wrong variety of things (orange cherry tomatoes that were sweet-- not tangy), and not enough of others (carrots, peas, cucumbers). Plus, new baby on the way means I'm only planning on planting tomatoes and herbs. Ok, maybe some greens since we probably won't do the spring CSA this year. And the carrots were fun. And the scallions were useful. And everyone likes pumpkins for Halloween. And....

denise said...

eidolons - I bet if you supplement your sandy soil you can get the mint to grow. They have shallow roots, so something to help the sandy soil retain moisture is good. :)

stephanie - Yeah, I'm not usually ready yet, but I hope to start seeds early enough for a good spring planting round so I need to get started soon!

chris - Ooooh, tree house. :)

nikki - I "oh - and, and, and'ed" myself into a two page list of seeds to buy. ;) It works that way.

Cole said...

Gorgeous plate of tomatoes Denise! We've had a lot of sickness these past months so I'm too tired to plan yet. Most likely I won't start from seed this year but pick up seedlings from the local farmers markets. I want to add some more perrenial herbs in our backdoor bed this year. Small goals with small children underfoot!

Maiz said...

This is such an inspiration! I didn't plant last year, thinking that having a baby (#3) in the summer would make it too hard for me to tend my veggies...WRONG! It would have been much easier and more fun than loading all the kids up for a run to the grocery store!

Pollyanna said...

I would love to know what catalogs you use to order your seeds/plants from. We need to start a garden this year and I am just starting it. Thanks as always for your lovely blog!

Dawn said...

Droooool!

slim pickins said...

I ditto the interest in what catalogs/companies you would recommend. we started our first garden last year, and sort of scraped together seeds from various resources. it ended up being a lesson in "how not to do a garden" by the end of the season - we just produced so little, did not make the best use of our space...we're ready to try again tho' - not too disheartened!

Sunflower Hill Farm said...

Oh, my....dreaming, dreaming, dreaming. I'm working really hard to make sure we plant and succession plant, eat and use what we plant whether that means can them, freeze them, dry them or whatever. It's this time of year when I think "why didn't I freezer more or can more?" I'd love to one day grow 90% of our food. We're getting closer all the time! Esp. love Baker Creek catalog. It's like veggie porn!

Jessica - Domestic PDX said...

Your photos are gorgeous. Makes me excited for gardening season!

pomeegranate said...

Hi just subscribed your page and you are an inspiration. I am a young mom myself and hope to one day be a crafty and creative mom like you. I adore your photo's a lot and the admiration you have for your life and children...keep doing a good work.