“In the face of an obstacle which is impossible to overcome, stubbornness is stupid.” — Simone de Beauvoir
As spring continues to progress, so do the trees and flowers surrounding the house. A walk through the yard yesterday between the rain showers and gusting winds, noticeable growth had taken place since the last time I’d checked.
The lilacs are stretching above the protective leaves that sheltered its blooms from the early spring snowstorm. Last year we had very few blossoms to enjoy, but this year one bush is covered and the other has just enough to break up the monotony of the green and brown stems.
The bulbs I planted last spring that weren’t taken by the snow or the squirrels, have broken ground and are beginning to show their flowers. If I bend over and get real close, I can smell the hyacinth even though the petals are still closed tight.
The most exciting find were the blossoms on the plum tree. After having little to no plums for four or five years because of brown rot, we never thought we’d see fruit on this tree again. Last spring it bloomed and gave us more than 200 pounds of fruit. I’m not sure if it will give us fruit again this year, but there are blossoms on the branches — and lots of them. It will be a sight to see when it finally blooms, but for now I am keeping my fingers crossed that those blossoms bear fruit. I only have a few bags of plum pie filling left and only a jar or two of whole plums.
With the ground warming, the grass greening, and of course the weeds popping up everywhere, I am beginning to wonder about the garden. I do not have a green thumb. Never have. For years I have planted a garden and it has been hit or miss as to whether or not I get any edible food from it. So does this mean I should give up? Am I “stupid” to keep trying?
My daughter jokingly tells me that I could kill silk flowers. She’s probably right. About the only thing I have been able to consistently grow are tomatoes. Even those though I cannot take full responsibility for because in addition to the new plants I place in the ground every year, there are several wild plants that grow all on their own. You can probably guess which ones do better — yep, the wild ones.
Still, I love having a garden or at least the little patch of dirt on the side of the house that I call one. I tried growing pumpkins for a couple of years, but most of the actual pumpkins fell off the vines once they were about grapefruit size. My father built me a very nice trellis for cucumbers to grow on, but they withered and died long before the fruit was ready. Peppers never got beyond the size of apricots and onions were hit or miss.
None of this was for lack of watering or neglect. I really tried. Perhaps there are just some things better left to the experts. My neighbor has a beautiful garden. He grows peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and several other things with no problem. Maybe it’s just me.
The only thing other than tomatoes that I have had limited success with are potatoes. For three years we planted these. The first year was great. The second was good. Then last year it was poor. I’ve learned that you need to rotate crops, which I didn’t do, so that explains the decline. So no potatoes for at least a year. This leaves the garden empty — the tomatoes grow in a separate area all their own.
So what to do? What I really want are peppers. Every year I buy at least a bushel from local farmers to can. This year I want to can several other types in addition to the Hungarian bell I’ve always done, so it could get pretty expensive.
Well, maybe this is the year! Maybe I will finally break the pattern and do it right. The internet has a lot of suggestions and I am open to them all. If nothing else, getting outside and playing in the dirt, pulling the weeds, turning the soil, and enjoying a bit of fresh air is reward in itself, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.