May 26, 2020

The Garden That Almost Wasn’t

The garden that almost wasn't

Janine Pineo Photo | The garden that almost wasn’t

• By Janine Pineo •

It’s been a strange year.

The never-ending winter gave way to a lost spring for me. Two major family illnesses threw me for a loop and meant the garden was the absolute last thing I needed to do.

Until I needed to do it.

I was still putting plants and seeds in the ground in early July.

Needless to say, I felt a bit of despair. OK, more than a bit. Would anything have time to do anything before we got hit with a frost? I kept looking at seed packets and counting days, shaking my head and doing the math and frowning at possible dates that I would see the fruits of my labors.

With the exception of greens, not a one filled me with hope.

I didn’t manage to plant any flower seeds. I had found time to dig up a number of volunteer plants that have become about the only annual flowers I have in the yard. More despair.

I watched as the garden slowly – oh, so slowly – began to fill in. I did get trellis up for the pole beans and peas. I got the poles pounded in for the tomatoes. I got the wire fencing up for the cucumbers to climb.

Each step was like conquering a mountain given other things going on. But they got done.

The plants seem to be thanking me.

We are picking buckets of produce. The freezing has begun. The splurging on favorite dishes is under way. I have plans to make a number of goodies that I only make during this time of the year.

And once again, I am reminded that other than doing a few things like putting in the plant or seed and maybe adding a structure, the plant does all the work. That despite my own sense of importance, the plants only need me for a tiny piece of the puzzle.

I am thankful for being so generously rewarded.