This season – 2017 – marks right about 40 years that I have been heavy-duty gardening, first in Wisconsin right out of college, and for the last 35-plus years in western North Carolina. This blog post is different, because it’s not a message about any particular plant, but about a useful approach to gardening.
As anyone can see from the photo with the heavy construction equipment, this will be a challenging year for me to follow my original garden plans. I am adding on to my house and the water line just had to run through the middle of the front yard. The expert equipment operator has managed to position his bucket arm in the narrow space between a young pear tree, which is just starting to bear reliably, and a wonderful little Callaway crabapple tree that is also just getting into its bearing years. In the background up along the porch is the only remaining patch of undisturbed earth in my fifth of an acre, and various greens and herbs are doing just fine, having come through the winter under a blanket of straw mulch.
My message is this: Gardens change all the time and they heal fast. Every year is different…some good, some not so good. Seeds and plants have a powerful built-in drive to grow in any conditions that meet their basic needs. So relax. If your garden isn’t picture perfect, or if woodchucks eat every last morsel, keep going. Keep gardening. Change the mix, enjoy what grows and get over what doesn’t.
In later posts this year I will be writing about some plants I’m going to grow from seed: chamomile, borage, dwarf sunflowers, cayenne peppers and Tulsi basil. There’s a plan. You see, with my yard all torn up, it’s time I did more gardening in containers on the porch. All these Sow True choices should make for some nice container gardening. Take a look at the catalog and get seeds now for the upcoming warm seasons.
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Writer Nan K. Chase has written about topics as diverse as the history of Islam and the history of the mini-skirt, about beauty pageants and about nuclear energy. An award-winning investigative journalist, she has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, Air & Space, Southern Living, and many other publications. A long-time gardener, Nan lives in the mountains of western North Carolina.