Part of the spell of gardening is sitting a spell
I was cleaning out some files and I found an article that I saved from 2008 and was going to use in a newsletter then, but it was misplaced and time went by. After rereading it, this seems like a good time to share it.
This time of the year we’re flooded with gardening catalogs and other early temptations of the coming spring. Reading this article will remind you of those warm summer days.
This article was published in the spring of 2008 by USA Today newspaper and was one of the weekly columns written by Craig Wilson.
All his life my dad had a garden. It was in the field across the road from the house, near a creek that overflowed most every spring. The earth was rich and dark.
Being in Upstate New York, he never planted anything until Memorial Day, of course but he started tilling and turning the earth right about now, getting the plot ready for the plants and seeds to follow.
Like all gardeners, he had his own way of doing things. The sweet corn was always in the same place, for instance, on the far south side of the plot, forming a high green wall come September.
His strawberry patch was on the opposite side , and in between were carrots and radishes, peas and squash. He didn’t like how the squash crawled around, refusing to stay in the nice neat rows like the more obedient vegetables that that knew their place.
As the weeks rolled along and the plants grew, he’d tie strings to aluminum pie pans and hang them from poles to keep the crows away. And like many gardeners, he had a running battle with a raccoon that would lumber out of the woods for a midnight snack.
But what I remember most about the garden is not the corn or the cucumbers or the crows, but a rusty tin lawn chair. Yellow faded to cream. It was one of those vintage 1950’s chairs with the fan back and small holes in the seat for the rain to drain.
And it slowly bounced up and down if that was something you wanted it to do.
He would carry the chair down from the barn in the spring and carry it back in the fall. But it sat there all summer, and it was there he spent his time, sitting sentinel at the end of his garden rows.
Dad told me once he did his best thinking sitting on that chair, watching the corn rise and the sun set.
First Lady Michelle Obama has her own vegetable garden at the White House now, covering some 1,100 square feet of the South Lawn. Unlike Dad, she got help turning the soil recently from local fifth graders who will return to tend the garden and harvest the crops.
Spinach, red-leaf lettuce, sugar snap peas, kale and carrots are all lined up to star in the first White House garden since FDR.
The only thing the first lady lacks is an old tin lawn chair. I think I know where there might be one she could borrow.
- Created on .