Friday, January 27, 2006


It’s still the dead of winter, but I’m thinking spring. I ordered seeds today. Yep, that’ll do it. I got a few herbs for my tiny little herb box: Lemon Balm, Coriander/Cilantro, Dark Green Italian Parsley (to be joined later by Pineapple Sage from a local nursery), and for the edges of my garden box (in which I already have four varieties of raspberries), Parsnips. Last year it was carrots. I think I’ll like the parsnips even better; according to the seed catalog, parsnips can winter over and will be fine in the spring. Yum!

I don’t do all that well growing plants from seeds. I’m pretty good about planting and watering (although I’m just a little heavy-handed with the water). I’m even good at waiting for the tiny little leaflets to break the surface and catch their first light. But thinning is so painful! I know that in order to grow healthy, strong plants, a good many of the nearby little sprigs need to be ruthlessly pulled up. It’s almost enough to make one weep.

I didn’t realize one had to be courageous to be a gardener. When you think of it though, gardening develops a lot of traits of strong character: wisdom, knowledge, a sense of timing, self discipline, responsibility, attentiveness, faithfulness, sensitivity, perseverance. I suspect that many a philosopher, teacher and theologian has been grown in a garden. What an unexpected crop!