Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gardening in Seattle

By Dian Hassel

I started my garden this afternoon. I like getting my hands into the dirt, and feeling the leaves of petunias, marigolds, lavender, gerania and tomatoes, and noticing the different scent of each leaf. Marigold and tomato leaves are Nebraska in the summer, sand hill cranes, the Platte River and Fort Kearny State Park, my mother, her mother. Marigolds have never survived in my containers…yet. I trust them, and hope they will eventually trust their gardener.

When planting new seeds, I pull out the old root clumps and non-arable dirt. I put the new starts in, and add fresh soil. Before watering the new plants, it is important to sweep the deck and level surfaces. Otherwise, you will end up with a mud of the stuff that doesn’t serve the new growth any more. It will get on your bare feet and track all over your home place.

Just water them at first. You need to wait to feed them a few days or weeks until they can handle what you want to give them.

When I plant, I have my favorite for-sures. Then I try out a lot of new stuff. I do the same with dinner parties---if the new dishes don’t turn out, there’s always something else that can be done---it’s critical to try what might not work out.

I never follow the directions on the seed packets. Directions have rarely served me well. Unlike thoughtful direction. My garden used to be planned out in a very complete, symmetrical and Victorian way. When you do this, there is no room for the unexpected discovery that inevitably comes your way. I start small, and add as I go along, as time passes.

My little starts please me today. I know the additions to them will please me even more each week, not taking away from what I feel today.

1 comment:

Joe said...

That is great. I planted a few potato eyes with roots a couple days ago just to see what happens. i just use a little hand shovel and pick a small spot in the small yard somewhere to plant such little experiments.