Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Each year I get an urge.

I feel as though it is an urge to push during labor. You know it is going to be hard, but you absolutely have to do it... and by the time the work really sets in, you are feeling better, energized and like you are really working on something truly amazing.

That is the way planting feels to me. I planted peas, cilantro, and radishes yesterday. I cleaned out a huge chunk of my garden and freed the rest of the rock boarder from the grass pathway. I carried three loads of weeds to the yard waste bin, keeping aside the dandelions for the worm bin I am making.

I found hundreds of little starts. Pushing their heads up and ready to be heard... Fennel, garlic, dahlias.

I found hundreds of flowers... Currents, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all flowering and putting their love out there.

I found transplants... chives, salad brunette, oregano, and raspberries, which need to be put into better use and a better area in the garden. Some will be given away because I just don't have the room.

I finalized the plan for the sunflower house in the corner of the yard.

I started dreaming of a chicken coop in the other corner (which will work well and is well protected) and researching having 5 chicks come to live with us pretty soon.

The spring weather has been wet. Terribly wet. Even as I was dreaming and planting in my garden I was getting rained on. By the time I got back inside the top of Logan's car seat was soaked, as was my back, and my knees and hands.

But I felt more alive than I have in weeks. There is something about it... it is like a direct connection to the Earth. Like the soil comes up and meets me to create. It is a huge part of my life and I am so excited to be started.


Cindy said...

Val, your posts are always so inspiring! I have started planting too and can't wait until I can really get stuff planted into the ground and not just pots that I have to bring in every night! I really want to sit down and plan out my whole yard. I really think I need to add some raised beds. Thanks for the inspiration!

Katie said...

You write about your gardening, and I feel like I am experiencing it while reading it, you are a great writer! I am excited to get outside this weekend, we actually are getting into the 70's this weekend, after snow on Monday....
can't wait to see pictures of your garden, and glad to hear that you got to spend sometime outside! :)

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Thank you ladies!

I picked up a yard of compost so I could fill in the trenches I am digging for the outline of the sunflower house with fresh fertile soil. I am also getting ready to get out there and transplant the raspberries runners into a neat line so I can stake them tomorrow afternoon with my dad. I planted purple and orange carrots with Cyan along with dill and flat leaf parsley starts.

I just love this time of year. I could write about what I do in the garden blow by blow. I am excited that it is sunny outside. My sweet little seedlings I planted last week are pushing up the soil, not quite ready to pop through, and I put them out in the beautiful 60* sunshining day to see if that will urge them out.

There is nothing short of passion about this for me. I think that is why I love taking pictures of my garden and the pictures seem to reflect that. There is something sacred about the earth and the things that come from it. Something devine in the creation of a plant from seed, and a flower from stalk. Something more than us, connecting us to the Earth with a beautiful balance, that is so lost in our lives most of the time.

Anonymous said...

How do I even get started? Where do I start? What do I need? How does one go about deciding and setting up a garden?

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Well, honestly. You have to know where your sun is. And then it is very easy.

I would do a raised bed, because they are the easiest to maintain and for first timers, that is important.

Place a trellis along one side for vining plants (which are super satisfing for kiddos).

Call your local Extention or Tilth office for plants that grow in your area. They usually send out a book for free, but sometimes cost a little bit... like $5 or less.

Fill your raised bed with compost and topsoil.

Then (for first timers again) add plants. Not seeds. Then you will not have to deal with thinning and other things like that. Lettuce, beans and peas are the only things I recomend from seed for first timers.

After that, read read read, and learn, and grow and learn somemore. It starts coming to you pretty naturally and quickly once you get into it. :D


Val in the Rose Garden said...

Here is one that you just have to fill with dirt. :D

Anonymous said...

So what if I decide to just do an herb and pepper garden? Is that to much or o difficult?

Val in the Rose Garden said...


Perennial herbs like Mint, oregano, terragon, parsley, chives, salad burnette, rosemary, lovage, sorrel, garlic chives, thyme, sage, etc are EASY. Put them in the ground, water them when they get dry, and that is literally it.

Annual herbs like basil, onions, garlic, flat leaf parsely, cilantro, and leeks take a bit more planning, but are also easy once you get used to it.

Peppers. Peppers are a hot weather plant. If you put some peppers out (I forget where you live Misty) in a really sunny spot sometime next month in some good soil, you should have a great yeild come July-Sept. You could easily add in some basil in the same spot and have it grow happy right next to your peppers. :) They like the same conditions.

Does that clarify or is that muddled? Have you picked up any garden books? Ask your library about "The Kitchen Gardener" magazine. It only ran for a while (I think three years) but it was WONDERFUL. It would break down different plants and types of plants, have pictures etc. There was one on Peppers. Not sure what addition... but if you found it, you would be more than happy with the info and how to grow them. :)


Anonymous said...

Wow thanks Val for all the great info. I live in IL. I actually have a pretty big area I am thinking of gardening.

simply patti said...

I love your blog, woman! Currants! I remember your jars of currant juice last year... yum! How do I start currants on my homestead?

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Patti, I just got current bushes in the blueberry section of my local nursery. They were $4 a peice... I got two that the guy there said would cross polinate and put them together. The red one has been on my moms property for YEARS... I dug it up (the roots were only about 18 inches into the ground even after 10 years of being there) and then dug a big hole and put it in my garden... where it happens to be happy. ;) They are pretty easy. I want some more blueberries and an apple tree... But I have to get some stumps removed before I have a place for them.

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