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A Gardening Life – March 1

For those of you who check into Whole Life Gardening frequently, I apologize. I try to update this blog at least three times a week if not more frequently, but occasionally a longer stretch of time goes by. Despite our best intentions life happens…there are seasons of tremendous growth and periods of dormancy. Gardeners know this to be true, in the garden and out.

I once read an article about Audrey Flack, an artist whose work I’ve admired for many years. At that time in her life there were other circumstances in her life that kept her from painting every day. She described how this was OK because by the time she got to her studio she’d built up a good head of steam and was ready to plunge wholeheartedly into her work. She was ready for growth and production.

Artists, writers, and other creative people frequently experience such cycles in their production and gardeners are often imaginative and artistic folks themselves. Winter forces us to build up a head of steam so we’re all eager and ready on the cusp of the growing season.

Out of periods of dormancy arise times of great productivity.

Just as we think that winter will NEVER end, the pansies appear in the garden centers and remind us that we're on the cusp of spring. Just as we despair that creativity and productivity are elusive, we're suddenly filled with energy and spirit, ready to produce.

Sharing the Wealth
Preparing for the Growing Season

  • Out with the old! Do some early spring cleanups and cut back last year’s growth on grasses and perennials. Pull out any remains of annuals that are still in the garden.
  • Rake up the leaves that have collected in odd corners and under shrubs.
  • Start seeds according to the directions on the packages. Some annuals grow very quickly, for example, so don’t need to be sown until a few weeks before planting. Other plants such as peppers and many perennials are slower to germinate so should be planted in late-winter. Seed packets will contain information about when to sow different varieties in your area.
  • Plan some places to experiment this year. Don’t stick to the same-old-same-old in all areas of the garden…shake it up! Be bold and take a chance on something new, be it in a bed or container.
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