"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
I have a confession to make: I have a black thumb. Not literally, just in the sense that I have this natural penchant to kill all green things. House plants quake in fear when I approach, flower gardens wilt in my shadow. Actually, I’ve managed to keep one of my plants alive, a beautiful little orchid that likes being ignored – thankfully. My little abuelita (grandma) is an incredible gardener. I remember losing myself in her beautiful gardens of daisies, sunflowers, peonies, violets, and anything else that would bloom, as a child. During the summers at her house she had such a harvest of raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries that my whole extended family would pick their fill and she would turn the rest into freezer jams. If it could grow, she would grow it. And I’ve long lamented that such a talent doesn’t seem to be a hereditary trait.
So it may surprise you when I say that J and I just bought a bunch of seeds over the weekend. The grand scheme is to build a little 4×4 raised bed divided into 1 square foot sections, each planted with different vegetables. My brain tells me this is manageable for a plant-killer like myself, but only time will tell.
Some of the veggies we want to enjoy have to be seeded indoors 4-6 weeks before transplanting to the garden so we figured we’d better get a jump on this. I’ve already started having visions in my head of a bountiful garden. I see myself coming into the house, arms laden with giant zucchini, bright and round tomatoes, heads of leafy, green lettuce, piles of pickling cucumbers, and bunches of sweet, orange carrots. These, my friends, are called delusions of grandeur.
But delusions aside, I kind of went hog-wild when we got to the garden store. First I couldn’t decide if I should start with seeds or starters, then I found the organic seed section of the store and tried to snap up one of each vegetable type. With over 2 dozen packets in my hands, I’m so thankful J had the foresight to rein me in. We got my pile whittled down to the photo you see below: a few varieties of plants that need to be started indoors early, and all the herbs I’d like to have for my little kitchen herb garden.We’ll go back later for the seeds that don’t need to be started so early. And already I think I have my hands full. It’s also probably a good thing that J didn’t give into my squeals of delight at seeing all the cute and fluffy chicks for sale. But I digress.
Back to seeds. Tonight I plan to get dirty and plant all those beautiful little seeds. I feel like a kid in grade school with a plant science project all over again. I’m so excited to see these little seeds germinate and sprout into tiny plants. I can’t wait to watch them outgrow their little fiber pots and put in them in the rich soil. I’m thrilled to start getting my hands dirty planting my own food and better yet, harvesting my own organic vegetables.
It’s funny to think that just 4 years ago I couldn’t cook to save my life and I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of growing a garden. Here’s to new dreams and getting a little dirt under my fingernails.
So to all my friends out there – any gardening tips you can share?