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Early Spring Garden

As a gardener,  spring is the time of nurture and discovery. It is full of expectation, anticipation and joy. At times even some frustration creeps in. Spring in Vermont this year was a mix of many emotions, some quite unexpected.

With the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, quarantining at home, unemployment, the inability of travel or go visiting all contributed to ample time to contemplate the coming gardening season. During some of the warmer days there was time to rake , cut back and get rid of winter debris. Everything ready and waiting for the warm weather. But alas, it was only the end of March, and this is Vermont! 

When my favorite local nursery announced curbside service I quickly rushed to make an order! Mindful to choose plants that would be hardy in the cooler temperatures of course, I was excited to pick up the lovely Swiss chard with the yellow and pink stems, the pansies in pretty blue and apricot tones, some yellow beets for summer salads and some different varieties of kale for color! Ahhh, planting! So, it was 45 degrees. 

Each plant got carefully placed, watered and for several days things were looking up.The parsley was perky, the onions seemed happy and the air temperature hovered between 45 and 50. The grass was even getting green.

Then, the reminder of why no one messes with Mother Nature arrived! Not one, but several snow storms in April! 3 inches one day, freezing temperatures, 5 inches another day, sunshine and melting the next day. The poor plants! I was horrified! I had jumped the gun, planted too early! What was I thinking? I made the mistake an experienced gardener never makes, putting plants in before the weather is warm enough. What a waste.  

Lo and behold, as the weather finally warmed up, its the end of May now, didn’t these plants rally and take hold?! They have all survived and started to grow, the kale is practically ready to pick and the Swiss chard, which I truly thought was hopeless, is going to be a wonderful crop! 

So, lesson learned. If you can’t wait, because what is going on in the world around you is disturbing  to the point that you require distraction, have faith, patience and some hope that everything will turn out as it should in the long run.  Gardening is a forgiving hobby and in this world, being able to have a patch of ground in which to grow some of your own food is a true gift. 

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