It’s time to plan your garden: here’s some inspiration for you!

Remember these?

Remember these?  Flowers that actually grow outside in your own little garden?

Winter is getting a little long here out on the snowy tundra, the windy plains, the bleak gray landscape that is Nebraska.  This is what we must do here in the Midwest to make it through the winter:  we get up one morning, we pull on our wool socks and our thirty-two layers of clothing against the cold, we wipe our dripping noses, we brew ourselves one more cup of hot tea, and we sit down with pencil and paper and our treasured seed packets, and we plan our summer garden. At least that’s what I do.  My head fills with visions of fresh greens and crunchy radishes and aromatic herbs and somebody stop me!! buttery summer squash, and oh, those baskets and buckets of beautiful tomatoes, the likes of which you cannot buy in the Midwest during the wintertime.

So next week, I’ll plant heirloom tomatoes in flats in the house, from seeds that I carefully saved last year from my favorite tomatoes, and a few new varieties that I’m trying out, too.  Also I’ll plant a flat of jicama because I’m experimenting with that enticing tuber, and of course several varieties of eggplant and many varieties of peppers.  I’m looking forward to this with a pleasant tingly excitement, and I plan to share the process with you.

I don’t really need any inspiration to do that, but I ran across these quotes about gardening a few days ago, and I thought that you, Gentle Reader, like me, might need a little inspiration to make it through these last, long, excruciatingly long weeks of winter.

So here goes:

“Science, or para-science, tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to. But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough. Too much attention, like too much feeding, and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them.” ~Victoria Glendinning.

“It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.” ~James Douglas, Down Shoe Lane

“Weather means more when you have a garden. There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is soaking in around your green beans.” ~Marcelene Cox

I just love this purple kale I grew last summer!

This purple kale I grew last summer was a soldier, producing valiantly through the hot dry summer, and the last thing to freeze in the fall.

“Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity.” ~Lindley Karstens

“We have descended into the garden and caught three hundred slugs. How I love the mixture of the beautiful and the squalid in gardening. It makes it so lifelike.” ~Evelyn Underhill, Letters.

“One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides.” –W.E. Johns

“There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.” –Alfred Austin

Remember these . . . ?  Oh, they are so easy to grow and so delicious!

Remember these . . . ? Oh, they are so easy to grow and so delicious!  Green zebra, striped Roman and orange ox-heart!

“Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation. It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which a man gives his heart.” ~Karel Čapek, The Gardener’s Year

“Tomatoes and squash never fail to reach maturity. You can spray them with acid, beat them with sticks and burn them; they love it.” ~S.J. Perelman

“I appreciate the misunderstanding I have had with Nature over my perennial border. I think it is a flower garden; she thinks it is a meadow lacking grass, and tries to correct the error.” ~Sara Stein, My Weeds

Oh, I just can't wait!

Oh, I just can’t wait!

“I don’t think we’ll ever know all there is to know about gardening, and I’m just as glad there will always be some magic about it!” –Barbara Damrosch

And a sweet little poem about gardening to share with you:

“The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.”~Dorothy Frances Gurney, “Garden Thoughts”.

Gardening quotes taken from:


14 thoughts on “It’s time to plan your garden: here’s some inspiration for you!

  1. Suerae Stein

    Oh, how envious I am of you and your gardening expertise! Try as I might, my gardens are disappointing. Here in New Hampshire, our land is all clay-like hills and rock. My husband tried raised beds for vegetables, and we got only a few. My perennials get washed downhill, so I never know where things will pop up from year to year. Thank GOD for my day lilies… the only plants that refuse to succumb to drought, heat, rain, inexperienced gardeners, or poor soil. I do nothing but deadhead and weed, and occasionally thin, and they come back each year more brilliant than the year before! I think I may only plant those from now on, but sadly, they don’t taste very good!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      I’ve always been poignantly aware of the fact that our conditions out here are much easier to garden in than many places. We’ve got naturally deep, rich soil and abundant water, so it’s not hard to grow a garden here. I’m sorry that it’s so hard to do it, there! I would think that it would take quite a bit of work to make raised beds, and to augment them with compost and good garden soil, but that it would definitely be worth it! I’m glad your daylilies are such a success!

  2. Francene Stanley

    I did the same thing–forgot to answer. Sigh.
    I’m not sure I agree with the quote about catching slugs. I used to live in harmony with my plants until one year when native snails invaded and climbed all over my carefully raised vegetables. I prayed each time I plunged one into salt water. I’ve never forgotten the shame I felt at killing living creatures.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Out here on the prairie, it’s a constant battle against the elements–either my garden is baking in the heat or it’s getting washed away in a sudden deluge, and deer and bunnies are part of the battle. We put fences up against them, and are constantly searching for new ways to keep them from killing our trees and bushes (the deer) or eating off our gardens during the night (both do this). I’m thankful for the hunters who keep the numbers down to the levels they are. Otherwise we’d probably not be able to grow a thing! I agree that death is unpleasant, but certainly a part of the natural process.

  3. Chef William

    And here in front of you Amy is your first Lens of squidoo, hang the camera around your neck and walk us through the planting of seeds in their temporary homes. Maybe 6 or 7 pictures, a few lines about heirloom seeds, a line or two about soil, a couple more lines about how to care for them until they are ready to meet the great outdoors and you have your first lens. One that we can all learn from. We love to learn new things over at squidoo.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Thanks, Chef,
      That sounds like a great idea and it wouldn’t be hard for me to do–I’m going to mix up potting soil and plant my seeds next week! Does it take long to figure out how to do the Squidoo-ing thing?

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