I've never had a garden before and finding myself part steward of Y.'s this year while he fries bigger fish is, frankly, a bit overwhelming. I don't know what I should put where or when or how close together or how deep or with what companion or in how much sun or during which phase of the moon. At least I know I don't have to take it for twice daily walks. Y. assures me that I can do no harm and the important part is just to be out there doing a bit at time and eventually there will be a garden.
Y. always says there is no time for resting on one's laurels and that seems particularly true in gardening. I was proud of the job I did waking the garden up after the winter. Six hours of clearing pathways and pulling dock and grass and who-knows-what-all left beautiful mounds of soil standing out against the woods. And then I didn't do anything for a good two weeks and the weeds came back as weeds will and I thought, "Right, Em, no resting on your laurels."
I should be out there now weeding and turning soil and planting seeds and telling the plants to grow, although they seem to manage that all by themselves. That is the exciting part. I put seeds in the ground, give them some water, and by some miracle a few days later there are little green shoots coming through the dirt. It's exciting and that's before there's even anything to eat.
It is thrilling to see the asparagus coming up (even though I know we aren't allowed to eat it until next year) or to see flowers on the strawberries that weren't there the day before or to look out the window and be able to make out rows of tiny beets and peas or to eat the first radish of the season. I used to think seeing local produce at the farmers' market was fun, and it is, but seeing it in your own back yard is so much better. I'm still afraid I'm doing things all wrong, but with each new shoot I am gaining confidence that I won't ruin the garden and that we might even have food to put up come fall.