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Report From PIA – March 19

Today’s garden speaks to me about taking risks and taking charge. It was an usually warm, sunny day today… the type of weather that makes us think that spring has positively arrived. It is a tease, of course, but we gardeners took advantage of these conditions nonetheless.

I planted peas today. This goes down as the earliest day I’ve ever planted my peas, although in the past I’ve made it a point to scatter my first crop of lettuce seeds on the first warm day in March. In this coastal climate, I’m taking a chance putting my peas in so early. Peas may do well in cool temperatures, but they don’t love the seaside version of spring. Those off-ocean temperatures that we bless in July are cruel in April and May.

After the peas were planted I walked up to the trial and cutting gardens. I saw that these beds were dotted with weeds, so I kneeled down and began pulling them out. The clumps of grasses, sorrel and chickweed have small root systems at this point, so they were easy to remove. As I pulled them out, however, I thought about how weeding is a statement of control.

I am willing to put the effort into pulling those weeds, and in doing so I’m saying that I am the one who is determining how these beds should develop. I’m willing to put the effort into shaping these gardens, and as I do so, I decide how they will look.

Much of life is about taking chances and taking control. We do what we can to influence the outcome of things, and at the same time we risk possible failure while working toward success.

At this time of year every part of the garden screams for me to take control. The leaves need to be raked and the grasses cut down. As I clean the beds, all of the weeds that spouted and grew in the fall and winter are revealed, and need to be removed.

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