Gardening and the theory of Always

Maybe next year

If all these years of dirt-digging have taught me anything, the one thing I can definitely say is the word “Always” has no place in the garden.

I think there is something very gratifying in this statement, even though it’s a statement of insecurity. If there were an always, or a never, we would not try to plant things outside of our hardiness zone, or we would give up after one failed crop.

But it is a truism that pisses me off sometimes. I went into the main outdoor garden on Saturday, scissors and colander in hand, to retrieve some lacinato kale and parsley. I had a big pot of my navy beans boiling on the stove inside and needed the greenery to add to make soup. And lo, in the snow-covered garden, I was met with…green mush. What happened? This has never happened before, I have ALWAYS been able to harvest kale and parsley all year!

There is that word: always. It is humbling in its absence.

It also means that three seasons in one garden does not a pattern make, four is better and 15 better than that: I will know, in 2019, if I can expect kale and parsley to be reliably hardy. It means I have a lot of growing to do, too.

5 responses to “Gardening and the theory of Always

  1. Sorry to hear about your frozen greens even small amounts of fresh greens are essential.

    I like that point that where you realize that a garden has a life outside of the gardener’s grasp; you know, too much/not enough rain, volunteer plants that are super productive or whatever it is, you try to learn/adjust to the patterns but something always shifts and surprises you.

    Now I just wish it would bloody stop raining and let my spring/summer garden do it’s thing!

  2. Lisa at Greenbow

    Always is right up there with Never. Don’t ever say either in regards to your garden or life in general.

  3. Nada: I know, the loss was a mild one but enough to make me think about next year’s plans. But I do wish you a break in the deluge, although I know your poor country needs all the rain it can get. Just think though that lovely cistern of yours is filling right up.

    Lisa: Ah yes good point: neither belongs really anywhere, except maybe the whole death-and-taxes thing! 🙂

  4. El: The cisterns have filled and overflowed a 100 times over. 50,000 litres of storage (oh if we had the space, we wouldn’t need the municipal supply) is what was needed. Sadly, the parts further west that really need it have only had traces of rain.

    I’m happy to give them my share!

  5. I’m enjoying your blog. Very philosophical.

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