musings about food, travel, creativity and life

In the Garden

We all need a little hope and healing these days. Earth Day provided me with that when I became John’s assistant in our garden. Since I had played the role of Mother Nature in my first grade play, I figured I might have some as yet undiscovered gardening talents!

We started by envisioning what our garden could be. Except for growing herbs, we had not planted any edible plants in many decades. Maybe that time had come.

We ordered some starters of spinach, kale, lettuce, asparagus, cauliflower, and squash and repurposed some flower planters for our fledgling vegetables. I did my part to give them good soil, water, and hopefully a placement with just the right amount of sun and shade.

As I was being my best gardener self, I channeled my Italian maternal grandparents. I was especially remembering their garden in Fairfax, California. It had a small vineyard (my grandfather made his own wine), a large vegetable garden with artichokes, fava beans, lettuces, herbs–especially lots of basil for pesto–a magnificent fig tree, apple trees, and more. I hope some of those good gardening genes have carried on.

Everyday since our planting day, I have gone out a few times each day to talk with the plants and see how each is doing. So far, good news!

As a part of my new interest, I’m enjoying books about gardening that have been on my shelf for a long time. One is Cultivating Sacred Space: Gardening for the Soul by local artist and garden designer Elizabeth Murray. I’m also ordering seeds for vegetables, flowers and herbs from Hudson Valley Seed Company; these seeds come in “art packs” that have been designed by contemporary artists. I’m even being the one to call local nurseries to see what they might have in stock for our next planting day.

I have also brought into the house a print I gave to John years ago. It includes the following translation of a poem by Johann Wolfgang Goethe that seems particularly appropriate for us right now:


            Wide and beautiful is the world

            but I am thankful to heaven

            that I have a little garden,

            modest and charming, my own.


            Take me again to my home.

            Why should a gardener travel?

            Tend your own garden, it brings

            honor and pleasure to you.


I don’t know where any of this will lead. If we are lucky, it could lead to some wonderful meals of home grown salads and vegetable casseroles. It will certainly lead to more learning for me and to being thankful for our little garden of new life, nurturance, and hope.

6 thoughts on “In the Garden”

  • “The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul”

    What fun….The Farming Archers have temporarily replaced the Wandering Archers. Be sure to post some pictures of your garden online.
    I imagine it will be very rewarding and satisfying when you sit down for a meal of food you have grown yourselves.
    I would like to see you both in gingham shirts and overalls…..maybe a straw hat.
    Enjoy the peaceful days of gardening at your beautiful home. May we all be wandering again very soon.

    • We’ll have to see how productive! But it’s uplifting so that is productive. And don’t I wish that were my watercolor! It is my photo, waterlogued—an iPhone app. Hope you are well and staying safe!

  • The Archers’ response to Sheltering in Place is creative and inspirational! We’ll look forward to sharing one of your veggie casserole dinners! PS. It’s fun to picture you as Mother Nature in your 1st Grade play!

    • I think we all are having to be creative and resourceful now…a gift amidst the challenging uncertain times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *