chive blossom

Garden of Hope

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Orange and white cat
Russell Sprout keeping an eye on the garden.

Russell Sprout was our gardener, and I put in a garden for many years just for him. He loved visiting the plants, encouraging and admiring them. He took credit for all our successes as we harvested grapes, tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers. He spent a lot of time in the back yard, ministering to the plants there, and since he died a few months ago, I wasn’t sure if I would put in a garden this year.

baby grapes
These will grow into grapes by fall

I finally decided that I must follow in his lead and take over in his gardening role. Because our growing season is so short here, I bought plants rather than planting seeds. Just as the garden is in full swing, we usually have our first frost, so I’m trying to hedge my bets this way.

chive blossom
Our garlic chives have been in the garden for year, and they are already blooming.

Mother’s Day is usually the time when we can expect the weather to be frost free, but we were in a cold snap for Mother’s Day this year and it was too cool to plant anything. We were traveling the week after, so the garden waited until almost the end of May.

red rose
The rose bush is starting to bloom.

As I prepared the soil, I thought of years past when my oldest and youngest daughters helped me set out my garden. Their labor in the garden was a Mother’s Day gift more than once. This year, they are grown and gone, and the dogs were the only ones there to assist me.

standard poodle
River was really getting into the digging work!

They were excited to get into the raised bed, which is normally off-limits. When I began digging in the soil, they quite enthusiastically joined in! When it came time to plant the various vegetables and flowers, though, they seemed a bit confused. They lined up on the porch and simply watched me plant them, looking like they wondered why I would put anything in, when they were sure I must dig it all out!

black and tan shaggy dog
Tribble stands near a hole she dug for me.

Our cat, Nami, came out and checked out the catnip which is going strong already, much to her delight. She also gave the new plants the once-over.

cat and plants
Nami checks out the tomato plants before the made it into the raised bed.

I’m an animal person, not a plant person, and gardening is not my favorite thing to do. Yet every year the hope and expectation that comes with spring sucks me into the plant nurseries. It’s a time when everything seems possible. The hail storms and early frosts seem so far away that I can kid myself that they won’t happen this year. And sometimes they don’t. One year, I put in my garden twice due to the hail storms that ravaged the first plants I put out. And yet, the hope that a garden represents always returns. It always feels like everything is possible and that this is the year that we will have bushels of fine organic vegetables to eat, although it’s usually quite a bit less than that.

unripe currant berries
The currant bush has quite a few berries growing.

I’ve been seeding a few ideas of my own, hoping that they also grow and bear fruit. Spring in my life is also a time when everything seems possible. I have high hopes!

black dog in dirt
Garnet settled into the cool dirt


    1. Me too! I love doing things like that with the pups. It won’t be long now, and it will be gardening season here again. We’re just waiting for the date when can confidently be freeze-free (mother’s day, here).

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have similar problems in my garden. I plant seeds and the slugs get the seedlings. Then I replant and the roly-polies eat the seedlings. Or perhaps the seed never germinates because the Stellar’s Jays get the seed first. This year I replanted bush beans 4 times! By the time I ever get a bean it’ll be Fall. Still, anything I do harvest is a joy so I happily keep trying.

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    1. Our growing season is short so I cheat and buy plants at the nursery. The insects get their share, but they leave me my share, so it is ok. We had hail bad enough to damage our roof this spring, but the garden was protected by the branches of a tree and it survived splendidly. I felt lucky and thanked the tree for protecting the tender plants.


  2. My mother taught me to garden, and I think one reason I love it is that I always feel like she’s with me when I’m working in them. I certainly don’t love it because I’m all that good at it. All my work rarely lives up to my expectations of a prolific harvest, but I’ll never give up either! 🙂

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    1. I never had a good influence in gardening. I lived in the desert where nothing grew. As a result, I’m really stoked when anything grows, and when I get enough to harvest, I’m excited! It would be cheaper to buy it all at the store, I think, but growing at home gives me a chance to share with the squirrels and birds! They need good noms, too!


  3. Gardening was always a pleasure for me. I did it originally with my mother. After she died I continued, eliminating fussy plants. Now I only do tomatoes with a basil and parsley and call it a day. Somehow it’s not as much fun as it was back when my mother was around.

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  4. It can be difficult to keep doing something associated with a dear friend who has moved on from our presence. Kudos to you for moving through that and sharing it with Garnet, Tribble and Nami. I bet Garnet ended up in the tub. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt that my training was over and it was time to put Russell Sprout’s approach to gardening to work. I have to admit, it is more satisfying than just watching things grow. Nurturing and encouraging the plants feels better to me too.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I had to look him up- you’re much better at knowing who people are than I am. Yes, I see the resemblance with the bushy mustache. Let’s keep it between us, though. Garnet is sensitive about her image. She rocks her beard and mustache pretty well for a girl!


    1. I do have an about page, but it doesn’t have my location, and I probably need to chang it. A lot. I’m in Colorado and last frost is Mother’s Day and first frost is often in September. Not like Arizona, at all, Kismet.


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