Right now, my head is full of gardening. I’ve had onions, peas, carrots, dill, and spinach in the ground for two or three weeks. This week, I rototilled one tomato bed and planted 14 plants there – a mixture of Roma for sauce, and beefsteak to eat. Today I plant cucumbers, and get beans started – yellow, green, and scarlet runner beans. Tomorrow I start work on the other tomato bed, where the yellow pear tomatoes, two kinds of cherry tomatoes, and the purple beefsteak tomatoes go. I raise all my plants from seed, so am very proud of them. Soon I will plant peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce, and finish up my “kitchen garden,” with mint, basil, chives, oregano, rosemary, and thyme, all of which are looking nice and healthy in my back room with the large south-facing window. Any plants I have leftover will go to the community garden at my church, where we raise vegetables for our food pantry and the gospel mission.
I didn’t always love gardening. When I was a kid, I was made to work in the family garden, so naturally I rebelled against it. I also had to help with canning, which I hated. It makes a difference to be an adult and be doing the work voluntarily!
Gardening is also a nice way to interact with my neighbors. They stop and talk as I work in the garden, and I get to share produce with them when it ripens. I have one neighbor in particular who loves the Black Cherry tomatoes, so I always plant them close to her, so she can come and pick them whenever she wants.
There are numberless quotes about gardening. Here are a few that I really like.
Gardening grows the spirit.–Barbara Mock
Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.–Author Unknown
In every gardener there is a child who believes in The Seed Fairy.–Robert Brault
Weather means more when you have a garden. There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans.–Marcelene Cox
The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.–Joel Salatin (Folks, This Ain’t Normal)
The master of the garden is the one who waters it, trims the branches, plants the seeds, and pulls the weeds. If you merely stroll through the garden, you are but an acolyte.–Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.–Liberty Hyde Bailey
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.–Marcus Tullius Cicero
The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.–Gertrude Jekyll
Garden as though you will live forever.–William Kent
Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.–May Sarton
Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.–Rudyard Kipling (Complete Verse)
Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.–Alfred Austin
Gardens and chocolate both have mystical qualities.–Edward Flaherty
Everything is mended by the soil.–Andrew Crofts (Secrets of the Italian Gardener)
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