Follow Me On Twitter
Check out Patti Hermes'
Hot Holiday Gifts Guide
Parents Help Your Kids Learn ABC's and Spelling
Premier learning tools help kids excel.
Parent to Parent
Is It Safe to Plant Yet?
by Patti Hermes
Oh would you look at the calendar! It's June already, and I haven't started my garden, aka the veggie patch, yet! Well, maybe by the time you're reading this I've gotten around to tossing a few seeds on the ground, but just barely. Yes, just call me the Late Gardener … as long as I still get to be called a gardener.
Living in the northern part of the country allows me to procrastinate on the yard work. Fear of frost, and having lost some of my hard work to a late frost in previous seasons, contribute to my delay tactics. But I've still got time. One year I didn't get my hands dirty until July 1st! And yes, we had plenty of lettuce to last us through late summer, and into fall when the rest of the bounty finally ripened, right up to the first frost.
And my neighbors are none the wiser, for all they can see is the front yard, a few little patches here and there planted with perennials. Perennials are my favorites, plant them once and they keep coming back. And some of them get bigger and multiply every year, too. After spending a couple of hot, sweaty hours in the sun adorning her front walk with an assortment of new and colorful annuals, my next door neighbor looked over at my ivy (which was sorely in need of a trim at this point) and remarked how it looked better every year. Less work always looks better when your back is sore!
My gardens are not completely without effort, though. I have a few rosebushes, and I love my rosebushes. They can be finicky, though, refusing to blossom all summer long, no matter how carefully I water and feed them. Until I go off on a trip somewhere, which somehow compels them to immediately burst into glorious full color, lasting exactly the duration of my absence. I return home just in time to see the evidence of their former brilliance, and to dead head.
But it's the veggies that I look forward to planting all year. The last couple of years I left most of the lawn to my husband, carving out only a couple of small patches near the house, guarded from the lawnmower by a brick border. I have more ambitious plans for this year, though, which will actually involve more than scratching the surface soil and tossing out a few seeds. This is the year of the raised beds, a permanent fixture which requires research and planning and tools and supplies and a big block of time just to get started.
But it'll be worth all the work, once it gets done, and planted. I may have to buy some plants if I wait too much longer, to go with the tomato plants given to me by a generous friend, all ready and waiting for their new home. Watching, and helping them grow throughout the season, then harvesting and feeding my family are the greatest reward. Every day shows something new that has sprouted, overnight, it seems. Sometimes it's a wildflower, and sometimes it's a new pearl of wisdom, some observance from one of my sons as he absorbs and processes new knowledge of the world around him.
And that's the why of it all. Every year, every garden, is new and different, with something just waiting to be discovered each and every morning, all summer long!
This comment form is powered by GentleSource Comment Script. It can be included in PHP or HTML files and allows visitors to leave comments on the website.
| Patti Hermes is a freelance writer and columnist, specializing in family and parenting subjects and works for children, as well as essays and a blog, Writes For Chocolate. She works at home where she referees two spirited little boys and occasionally their father. Originally from Massachusetts, she and her husband of eighteen years are now raising their happy family in the Midwest. To read more visit her on the web at