Apr 03

Downtime – Gardening


Not me when I garden.

This is the time of year I wander into the garage and find my dusty old gardening gloves.  Once I find them, I immediately throw them away and rush out to Home Depot to buy new ones.  From there, I examine the tools that have endured the winter weather and figure out which ones to keep and which to replace.  Then, it’s checking for the last frost date and making the rounds of the nurseries to see who has the best seedlings at the best price.

Gardening is my summer stress reliever.  It’s a way for me to get out into the sun to get that essential Vitamin D, as well as get a good workout pulling weeds, digging holes and all around garden care.  Plus, I get the added bonus of fresh tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and herbs. The nature of gardening is that it has the ability to restore one’s spirit, to heal with the richness and vitality of the earth.  It’s also a peaceful activity that can be a solitary one or expanded to incorporate the family. In fact, teaching children to garden is such a joy as well as a useful skill….just in case of a zombie apocalypse, you’ve got to know how to grow your own food!  It’s also healthy and fun!

Because my daily work involves so much of the computer and other technology, the clickity clack of the keys and the colors of the screen can become monotonous, so I welcome the time that I spend with my lovely plants, both indoors and out.

My father, who passed away three years ago, was a master gardener.  When I was growing up, there was a half-acre of land in the back of our 200 foot deep lot that was carefully tilled and prepared every spring.  From that fertilized and tended ground grew white potatoes, zucchini (which will grow anywhere, I swear), several kinds of tomatoes, sweet potatoes, yellow and green peppers, squash and cantaloupe.  His firefighter’s schedule (3 days, 3 off, 3 nights, 3 off etc) allowed him the flexibility and time to cultivate the garden within an inch of its life, and you’d better not step on the freshly-tilled dirt….and don’t let the dog in there either! Somehow, though, the dog shimmied her way in, mashing down some seedlings with her dog paws.  Don’t chase her either – that’ll make it worse.

I am looking forward to spring, new seeds, new seedlings and variety of new plants.

Here’s hoping the weather falls just right for a healthy harvest come August, those dog days of summer when the sun is beating down on  your head and the sweat trickles down your spine.


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