Gardening requires imagination, seeing what might become sometime in the future.
Seeds become seedlings and then plants; bearing food, flowers and greenery. Patterns emerge to engage the eye. Bare dirt or a weedy patch transforms. Flowers brighten the day, beckoning bees. Shade from the trees shelter even as the apples grow for later harvest.
What was snow and ice covered in March now has spinach and lettuce ending their season, sugar snaps peas and turnips ready in a few more days, shallots, chard, beets and parsley growing right along. And that’s just one bed.
Its not only imagination that creates a garden. There is a lot of action and effort required. Seeds to be purchased and planted in beds that were dug, amended with compost, weeded and watered appropriately. Knowledge is required as well. What grows best in cool weather, what in warm. Which plants grow well together, and who fights? How big will the plant that comes from this small seed become? How much water will it need, how much sun or shade? When is it okay to work the soil–how wet is too wet? Will this plant tolerate freezing?
Gardeners require imagination, and a willingness to learn. Flexibility is important, as weather conditions mandate adjustments. I’ve learned–look for that warm spell we often get in late February or early March. I plant my early seeds then. They may lay dormant for weeks, but they will be in the ground and ready to emerge as soon as the soil is warm enough. I’ve enjoyed the spinach, and I’m already imagining the sugar snap peas that will crunch beautifully later this week.
It is said that all gardeners are optimists, as we deal in possibilities. We are realists as well, educated by experience. And there is always room for imagination, spurred by seed catalogues or just a wondering–what if I do this? Yes, I’ll give it a try. There’s always next year if it doesn’t work out.