Put on a happy garden face

by Ruth Griffiths

It’s happening again — a recurring dream about green shoots bursting from the soil. It’s spring and I’m excited about getting out into the garden!

For me, gardening is the perfect combination of physical activity, mental gymnastics and spirituality. It connects me to the earth through all my senses: the smell of the soil; the sound of the birds and the wind; the heat of the sun on my face.

After a long, cold winter, I look forward to getting outdoors to use my large muscles: raking, staking, digging, carrying and kneeling.

I enjoy the planning process that begins months before — taking an inventory of my seeds; buying new seeds; starting tender plants in rows of tiny pots.

Finally the big day arrives, sometime around Victoria Day. I space out rows with sticks and twine and begin to plant the first crops: carrots, spinach, potatoes, lettuce, beets. The tender crops like squash, corn and beans will come later when the soil is fully warmed. Last to go out are the plants started indoors: tomatoes, peppers and petunias.

Increasingly, people my age are giving up their yards and gardens to live in condominiums. There’s only room for a pot or two in which to grow things.

Many people would rather let someone else do the dirty work of growing vegetables, but for me, that’s just the point. I enjoy getting some dirt under my fingernails. I love the process of nurturing tiny shoots and watching them grow into productive plants. I feel proud and thankful when I wander out to the garden to pick a plateful of greens for a supper salad. I glow when I serve my guests a meal grown entirely in my back yard … including the raspberry, rhubarb or apple dessert!

If you haven’t started your own plants or want some new perennials, you might find what you want at the plant sale on May 14. 1-4 pm. at Calvary United Church, 114 25th St. E. The sale will be held as public health regulations permit. Plants, both annual and perennial, will be priced. Proceeds go to the church.