The Weekly Gardener 1


The Rain Again

Nature in Balance

White Hostas

Nature always finds its way back to balance. Not the rigorous balance people conceive of, based on logic and rules, but a messy one, without apparent patterns, which only reveals itself in retrospect. It has ebbs and flows, excesses and sparseness almost impossible to constrain by human means.

Every three years or so the rain comes back and lingers for an entire season, like it's afraid to leave. It is during those soggy summers, when the overgrown vegetation filters the light and makes existence look like the inside of an aquarium, that you really get the quiet workings of nature. They are not good, they are not evil, they just are.

Sure we try to control its perceived shortcomings, but in the end all the green things remember their wild instincts and behave as they would according to the true weather conditions anyway. Rain eventually turns gardening into a spectator sport, what are you going to do, stand out there and get wet?

So you sit by a window and watch the garden do just fine without your input. There is great peace that comes with this understanding, that the world is alive and well and does what it wills, it makes its own rules and allows you, benevolently, to thrive and make your own rules too.


About Gardening

Green Tomato

I've been growing vegetables in my little garden for over ten years, and one may wonder what is the benefit of waiting four whole months to get an eggplant when there is a whole stand of them at the grocery store all the time, even in the middle of winter.

What happens is every year, sometimes in the middle of February I get these packets of seeds. There is nothing going on outside, nothing but bleak cold dreary, and me, indoors, with a little packet of seeds in my hand.

I set up the seed trays, making an unholy mess in the process, as anybody who's ever tried handling potting medium in their kitchen knows, plant one seed per tray and wait. Between that time and right about now many things happen - the first leaf, the first flower, the first fruit, the time for planting outdoors, the time for harvest - but the thing that really keeps me hooked is that, after experiencing all of them, come next spring I get to do it all again. Every spring I get another chance to see an eggplant go from seed to fruit in slow motion.

Most things in life have an expiration date, even life itself. In a way gardening brings me as close to the concept of forever as it is possible for a person to get. That is the worth of my eggplant.