It is a snowy February weekend and I am not outside in the garden. I am nestled on my couch with a warm cup of tea, seed catalogs and garden journal nearby, dog curled up at my feet, watching frozen flakes kiss the ground outside. I am reminded of the importance of hibernation. It is nature’s necessary rest. We understand why plants go into dormancy and “wake up” in the spring when there is light and heat to grow and thrive. The same can be said for gardeners of all experience levels. When the timing is just right, we are energized to get growing. Sometimes we get a moment of perfect pause like this and we aren’t quite sure what to do with it.
This weekend in particular, I observe my silent, sleepy main garden bed, tucked in by a thick blanket of snow and resting up for what I hope will be a vibrant and productive season ahead. This moment of quiet bliss is balanced with the knowledge that spring is coming, a hopeful feeling with a side of momentary panic in preparation for the pending onslaught of growth.
So much has gone into my first-draft plan for this year’s garden that it already feels like draft number 17. And that is okay. In fact, I’d rather see an evolution of garden goals like this long before ever pulling the first weed of the year. My garden saw much more regular attention last year than it had in some preceding years for several reasons, including raising a house full of young children and all which accompanies that adventure, but also feeling the pandemic’s closures piling up onto one another. The weight of 2020's unexpected pause gently yet decisively dumped me outside and into the welcoming dirt like a fresh load of luscious soil tumbling from a wheelbarrow. Perhaps you experienced something similar.
As the snow melts now and the daylight grows, big dreams are swirling of how my garden will support my family’s nourishment, how I will be a smarter gardener this year than I was last year and the year before that, and what steps I will take to make my garden goals more attainable, maintainable, and sustainable. I am excited to have your company as readers and gardeners in this newly sprouted and growing community.
We are well on our way with these big dreams. All we need is to sleep on it for a bit, like this weekend’s winter nap, and wake as the garden wakes - ready to grow into our season.
Happy gardening and keep dreaming of spring!
Robin Lesh is the Principal Garden Coach and owner of Grow My Groceries. Become a member and join our community that receives awesome updates, gardening tips, and schedule one-on-one garden coaching! Let's get growing!