Tag Archives: patience

Commitment 

I have to confess – I knew the garden would be work, but for some reason I didn’t really think it would be that much work. Wow was my ego ever playing tricks on me!!! 
This garden has been a challenge. The physical actions of putting boards together, shoveling dirt, painting, planting, and watering were work, but really that was almost the easiest part.  

  
The real work has been in the commitment – the proverbial chase and honeymoon phase was over once plants started to sprout. There were certainly times I thought about just letting everything dry up and blow away. 

The relentless wind of May and June, brought so many doubts for the garden’s success. Wondering to myself what the hell I had gotten into, and most days having unrealistic expectations of how fast a plant will grow in less than ideal conditions. Then a little sprout would appear providing hope of great bounty; only to have my horn of plenty vision, quickly destroyed by a moth laying eggs or cats digging up a row of carrots. 

Walking away was considered, I could justify quitting. Forget my practice of non attachment, ignore the pleasure daily strolls and weeding provide me, and choose grief over gratitude. 

 

velveteena wakes up

 
 

Some carrots survived the cats

 
This evening I was wandering through the garden thinking about this and that, whistling to the Western Meadow Lark I thought about how fortunate I am to live in my place and time.  I picked a few weeds, ate some peas off the vine, and checked on the strawberries it struck me- no single part of the garden was ever the same!! Each square inch unique, brining its own magic to the garden. 

I could stand on the south side of a square box and think “I’ve got all the weeds!” Then lift up a plant, walk around a corner, peer down a row for an entirely new perspective. Each angle, every minute something new to see, taste or pick. 

The concept of commitment to my garden, the plants and my vision has become very important today. Commitment paired with patience. I’m not sure they can be separated. I don’t know enough about plant biology to explain how they grow and produce food. I just know it’s amazing to watch it in real time. 

  
  
Another surprise discovery about myself in the garden. Weeding – for me (with the easy access of the raised beds) has become meditative. When I’m in the garden weeding, that’s all I’m doing. It is relaxing and makes me feel productive, like no matter what went on during the day- I’ve accomplished something! A reminder of what I love about the garden that quickly washes away all the complaints. Not unlike human relationships ūüėČ 

With renewed commitment to my garden, I now need to do some research on how to get the most from my plants. I realize there is a lot going on in the garden and a lot that I don’t know. Topics to review this week are, when to harvest, fertilizing and in the event my horn of plenty vision becomes tangible, how to cook and preserve. 

Today’s Harvest

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Garden Keepers

After six nights away I returned home to a beautiful garden just bursting at the seams. I realized as I got out of the car that a week is a long time. My daily checks don’t make things grow faster ha ha!! My mom was right again, “a watched pot never boils”.

  
RC took great care of things – I did have my fears. Shame on me! Wandering around tonight, it was beautiful to see things growing, to pick a few weeds (that are so courteous as to grow between the vegetables) and enjoy being present.  

At the same time I started to think about what happens in a garden when I’m not around. I see evidence of birds, cats, insects. Thoughts turn to stories of fairies, garden gnomes and my own garden keepers. They are not unlike the plants I choose to grow, or souvenirs I might pick up on a holiday. Guardians of their mini domains…  

  

Nibs – valiant mouser, grasshopper eater and garden guardian. Coming alive in the dusk as the sun sets and weather cools down. 

  
 

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Solstice Seeds of Intention

This week my garden has been getting a little online attention. Exciting but also a little bit crazy Рpeople out there are finding and reading my online rambles… It is obvious that using tags helps with this. Do folks search tags when looking for stories to read? I will have to try this out myself.

  
In the past 48 hours  we have had some torrential rain, and it remains over cast and drizzly. What a difference a generous soaking has made in the garden. All of the plants are standing up strong, and full. Hydrated, nourished ready to have their cells multiply and divide. The energy in and around the garden can only be described as vivid. It’s as though you can hear the plants chattering – an extensive variety of weeds have also appeared. I didn’t think we could have an exclusive relationship – I  like to reflect on the integration of “weeds’ and “food” or I guess “not weeds”.

This year, the bird life on the land has been exceptional. I don’t recall hearing and seeing so many species hanging around the place.The number and variety of birdsong is even greater than those I can actually see and identify. This afternoon – there were killdeer, red wing black birds, robins and swallows – interestingly in groups of three. I don’t know enough about numerology so I won’t attempt to read into it. At any rate the bird life is a rewarding gift of the garden and rains…

All of this is leading up to June 21 – the summer solstice, and father’s day. I do love this time of year, and realize it is another opportunity to practice non-attachment. In one way it is a potentially sad reminder that the days will begin to shorten, and in the immortal words of Jon Snow “Winter is coming”. At the same time if provides an opportunity to stop and be present and enjoy every second of daylight- while setting intentions for the next six months.

Planting the seeds in the garden roughly six weeks ago – was an exercise in setting intentions. The intention to water, weed, care for and harvest – the intention to write about the experience. A joyful feeling.

Reflecting on my garden, I realized the influence my dad has had on me and my yard work projects. As a child I was always attempting to grow things – some grew, some didn’t. My parents gave me free reign, and I took to gardening and lawn care like a natural. I never totally knew what I was doing, I still don’t!! I have however always enjoyed it.  Wandering through the beds, I see the rhubarb, and hollyhocks sprouting up from seed. These plants take me to my childhood backyard where the rhubarb and hollyhock are still growing thirty years strong.

   
 

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Patience (or lack thereof)

The wind is non-stop. I for one, am pretty much done with it! Keeping the garden watered has been a huge challenge, the wind just strips the moisture off the top. I can only imagine (and I am sure not accurately) the dustbowls of the 1930s. Between the wind, the dust, the inability to grow food or make and income…

I don’t claim to be a historian, but I will say ¬†Barry Broadfoot’s Ten Lost Years had an impact. My dad had a copy, and of course it ended up in my hands – I was probably 13 or 14 when I read it. Pre high school English curriculum – thinking back to English 10,20,30 ¬†I am disappointed that Grapes of Wrath was the required reading and not a Canadian equivalent, being honest all anyone talked about was Rose of Sharon feeding the dying man – grow up I know‚Ķ In Grade 11 I had to read and write an essay on Who Has Seen the Wind by W.O. Mitchell – yes a depression era story, but my story of that essay writing experience should be saved for another day – I am sure my mom will agree!!

Any rate, back to the garden – A few hiccups this week.

WIND!! Power Outage for several hours one evening. I had no idea until the water from the hose started to sputter and gasp. I went straight to the garden from my car – didn’t go inside. Apparently the well requires power to operate to it’s best ability.

Garden being used as giant cat litter box Рten acres and the garden is the best place for it. Always where the tiniest  sprouts are coming up. IMG_6666

Came home Tuesday Evening to find little Grizzy snapped almost in half – I found a band aid, and some gauze and chopsticks for a plant splint – she seems to be surviving, but is she thriving? In my focus on a single plant I neglected to water one bed and came home Friday to semi wilted peas and more wind!! ARGH.

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All is watered and I¬†even started weeding. They are just big enough to bother…

I will say that I am not confident in my carrots – give them a chance I know – but still I can hear Blake Shelton on The Voice – and I am pretty confident growing carrots is not in “My Wheelhouse”.

Lack of patience and expectation, my nemesis (nemesi?) were leading the way this week. Lucky for me this article popped in my newsfeed: Is There a Way to Make Plants Grow Faster? 

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Thanks to fellow blogger Рculturalsnafu.wordpress.com for a great write up on Ten Lost Years and made it possible for me to not have to use an Amazon review… Canadian Encyclopaedia http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/ (I just discovered this today), and rodalesorganiclife.com for the patience…

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