Grit Blogs > City Life, Country Garden

2011 A New Year of Gardening

A photo of Renea WinchesterThe weatherman reports that Atlanta could see another dusting of snow. Which caused my spirit to sink. The kids are excited at the possibility of playing in the white stuff, but I am ill-equipped to handle dreary weather when it dips “down south.”

When the weather turns icy I can think of nothing better than to curl up on the couch and read the latest release. I’m not talking about what the New York Times list tells us we should read. I’m referring to the stack of seed catalogues that receive top priority during the month of January.

With pen in hand and sticky notes ready, I thumb through each magazine. This is the year, I convince myself, that my garden will surpass those I see on the cover of a magazine. I’ll begin by planting a salad bed (which, by the way, should be planted fairly soon here in the south). It will produce a rainbow of leafy goodness. Not the boring “lettuce” and “mustard” like my parents grow. We’ll have none of that in my garden. Oh no, my salad “bed” will be exotic.

Lettuce bed 

I’ll have a garden filled with lettuce no one can pronounce: Purple Mizuna and Rouge d’Hiver, and a touch of Skyphos (to add some pink to the mix). This year, I’ll sprout my own wheat grass (have you checked out the prices of wheat grass lately?), I’ll give Dill one more try and plant Chamomile, primarily because I noticed a charming Chamomile Rake that seems to be the smartest invention since the sticky notes that now color the pages of the catalog.

I’ll draw out my design and plant the seeds with care. I’ll call my dad and brag because my planting season in Georgia begins a few weeks before his in North Carolina. He’ll laugh, because he knows that regardless of what I plant or when, his little Bowen tractor has worked the ground into a powdery consistency that grows anything he darn well pleases.

Dad on his Bowen tractor 

As an aside, last week he worked two truckloads of nearly-rotten sawdust into his garden.

That’s his secret.

Find sawdust in Atlanta.  Go ahead, I dare you.

So with my purchased soil that has been fortified with fireplace ashes and a bit of goat manure, I once again begin the quest to grow something ... anything better than those who’ve much greater experience than I.

Let's be honest. There is a 99.9% chance my garden will look like this, instead of my Dad's.

The reality of my garden graces this Shoebox Card. 

I’ll begin the growing season filled with hope and ignore the card which sits at the corner of the desk. This year my dream garden will become a reality.

Enjoy those seed catalogs and remember, keep those hands dirty!

cindy murphy
2/9/2011 8:22:45 AM

I loved this! Thanks for the chuckle, Renea. I definitely need to find that card; one for here at home, and one to tack to the bulletin board at the nursery where I work. Keep that dream alive, and enjoy your day.

nebraska dave
2/8/2011 8:16:41 PM

Renea, you are so funny. I too leap into spring with enthusiasm that begins to wane away toward the middle of July. It seems to rekindle itself when the harvest starts coming in and lasts into the fall until the garden and yard clean up needs to be finished. I tried not doing the cleanup in hopes that winter would not come but alas the method didn't work and now it will be that much harder in the spring. I'm with you about reading through the seed catalogs. I hope the weather turns favourable for your charging garden spirit. Have a great pre planting day.