The Easy Breezy Longer Days of Spring and Summer
Spring has finally settled in New England. Most days are warm and breezy, so we can walk around free from extra layers of clothing. The children in our co-housing village have already kicked off their shoes and run around barefoot. Days of sunshine coax daffodils and tulips to blossom. The rainy days hold their own charm with the fresh fragrance and vibrant colors they bring forth from Earth as she awakens. Tree buds adorn branches in an exciting array of soft pastels that will deepen as spring becomes summer.
When the sounds and scents wafting in through our windows diminish our powers of concentration, nature holds the antidote ~ we can regain our focus with a brisk walk to soak in the generous energy of the sun. Adding to the charm of the season, longer hours of daylight give us extra time to relax and play after work.
Rewards for the Hard Work of Gardening
Springtime means longer hours to play, but it also makes the weeds grow taller and our gardens become jungles if we don’t spend some time preparing them for growing flowers and food. I am grateful that my body is whole enough this spring to spend time in our gardens, working to clear our beds of debris and feed them with mulch. I am also grateful for help from my daughter and her friends: weeding our veggie beds, sewing seeds, watering and mowing the grass.
Love from the Earth
The Earth has rewarded us for our care. Our spending time and attention on our gardens has created beautiful spaces for flowers, fruits, herbs and vegetables to grow this summer. The rhubarb has ripened, mint leaves have blossomed for garnishing our sun tea, and chives have sprouted tall enough to cut some for sautéing in the skillet with vegetables.
Eating the satisfying delicious early harvests that have grown and ripened already gives us hope to anticipate a continued bountiful harvest this season. Around the cycle of planting, watering and continued weeding, there is time to enjoy the critters who visit us often: frogs, snakes, grasshoppers, dragonflies and birds. The healthy glow of our gardens and music of the chimes in the rock garden below our deck is sweetest for me at sunset.
Anticipation for the good things our Earth will give us is the result of a hope that is conceived from the combination of hard work, vision and trust. Time and energy spent cultivating the spaces we’ve built for food to grow has already been rewarded with the blossoming of flowers and edible new life.
Gardening Tasks Completed and Adventures that Await Us
The image above reflects the work I’ve done to transform our gardens into the spaces I envision them to become. In addition to weeding and mulching the beds, other work has been done to the space around them:
- The chicken wire fencing and trellises that have surrounded the three beds for the past 8 years were given to our chicken club to use in expanding the run around our coop.
- One of the trellises was replaced with colorful red caging purchased last year.
- Weeds were dug out of the earth and replaced with fabric, gravel, and slate to create a path for walking around the beds.
The tasks that we look forward to completing by the end of the summer:
- Eventually, a stone wall will stand between our gardens and the swale in back of them.
- More weeds will be dug up and replaced by fabric, gravel and slate.
- Late-summer vegetable seeds will be sown in the middle bed.
- Sunflower seeds will be sown around the periphery of the garden and in a dedicated bed.
- Old, battered fencing around some of our bushes (e.g. hydrangea, black currant, sunflowers) will be replaced with fresh border decor.
The Journey Continues…
Over the course of the summer, I will photograph the progress we make on transforming our gardens into places of deeper enchantment for my family and friends, and to celebrate the harvests that grow in our beds. The fruits we look forward to celebrating in June are our strawberries. I’ll likely include a recipe that features them. See you next month!