they're alive

Gardening is not for those individuals who don't like angst and sweat. 


You spend days wondering if your carrots are going to take off or survive or die or get eaten by rabbits or trampled by dogs, and then, when they do grow, you spend days wondering why you thought it was a good idea to plant them in the first place, because now you're sitting outside on black dirt in the heat of July pulling weeds, when you could be buying carrots for 99 cents at the air-conditioned grocery store. 

Like I said, angst and sweat. 


As an adult, I've always a big fan of buying plants that are already well established, even if it meant paying more.

I see this as the direct result of having a mom who sent her daughters out to her gigantical garden with packets of seeds, a hoe and a board to help keep the planted rows straight. 

Two inches apart. 1/4 inch deep. Fertilizer. Don't step on the seeds. Where was the last row? Uh oh. What did I plant here? Let's just say it was cucumbers. Yeah. Cucumbers! Shoot. What happens when some other plant sprouts up and I'm found out? Whatever. Is it lunch time yet?

Story of my childhood life. Thus, the already-grown-plant-buying syndrome. 


This year, though, was different, as evidenced here

This year . . . I started plants from seeds. 

Gulp.


And guess what? 

It's actually working! 


So what if I run out to the kitchen every morning like a toddler on Christmas morning to see if another plant has sprouted? So what if I wheel my tea cart of pots around the house chasing elusive sunshine like a crazy lady? So what?

What matters is that potting soil, fertilizer, seeds, an egg carton and some sunshine really do work.

And are far, far cheaper. Like 20 cents per package of seeds cheaper.


Our peas are already growing gangbusters, which pretty much makes my day, because my sisters and I have fond memories of Mom asking us to pick peas out of the garden for her. 

Unfortunately (for her), we never actually returned to the house with any pea pods because we ate them ALL while still in the garden, but it was sweet of her to ask.

Wait a minute. Was THAT how she got us to eat our vegetables?!


Our Morning Glories (and some grass) are well on their way. I'm intent on having some sort of plant that climbs this year, namely because our arbor is in desperate need of some twisty vine love and because I want to one of those Pinterest-perfect teepees covered in plant life that little kids play in. 

Hey, I can dream.  


In preparation for transplanting these beauties outdoors in just a few weeks, they're spending an hour or two outside every day, getting acclimated to the wind and the sun and the birds and whatever else it is plants have to deal with outside of a farm kitchen. 

And so far, sunshine even makes the fickle clematis happy! 


The peppers took their sweet time popping up, but they're finally making a showing. 

It's times like these that I remember wise words someone once told me: "We have way too many peppers. We should have only planted one plant. Let's make sure we don't do that again."

Oh, wait. That was my farmer . . . just last year. 

Ah well. 


It's certainly easier to hang out in the Lowe's Garden Center with cash in hand, loading up on full-blown plants and flowers. But there's also plenty of joy to be had in watching seeds pop through the dirt and then shoot up in the course of hours, leaning toward the sun, right in your own kitchen window.



Angst? Yes. 

Sweat? Oh, it's coming. 

And as it turns out? They're both worth it. 

What are you planting this year?







2 comments:

  1. So exciting! Up till this point, I've always bought my plants already started. I'm grew up in Texas where gardens didn't grow, so now that I live North in Indiana, gardening is new territory for me. I garden so I am able to can. Roma tomatoes and bell peppers are of my favorites - so I can make salsa. This year, I want to grow some smaller cucumbers so I can attempt to make pickles. Maybe next year I'll venture out like you and grow my own plants from seeds.

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  2. Do you have a good salsa recipe you'd care to share? I'm all ears!

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