Friday, May 15, 2009

Oh Yes...I love a New England Spring

I have two absolute favorite times of year.  The deep Fall when the leaves are at their peak of color and the air is crisping - no more humidity.  And the Spring when it's almost summer, there is no sign of frost and it's time to plant the garden.  My family, out on the West coast, has been gardening for months now.  But me?  I can hardly plant until Memorial Day weekend.  This year, it looks like I might get to plant a whole week early - Oh Joyous Day!  
Above is a picture of the plants I purchased at the Gore Estate Plant sale last year.  The sale starts this weekend, and I can hardly wait to go.  They sell heirloom and organically grown vegetables, herbs and flowers at rock-bottom prices.  I have so many perennials in my yard thanks to them, and love watching them spread and flower: Thistle, bronze fennel, Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate (a victorian-era towering flower that reseeds every year), black hollyhock, sage, oregano, lemon thyme and flowering maple (this one needs it's hand held all winter and is tricky for me to keep alive).
When I worked in the greenhouse at my job, with the preschool children with vision impairment, we went to the Gore sale and purchased many different but related herbs to put in barrels.  We chose several citrus-scented herbs such as lemon verbena, orange mint and lemon basil.  It was a great experience for the kids to explore the plants, which have varying textures and scents.  Another barrel was full of different mints - pineapple, curly and peppermint.  The mints are great since they come back after a hard winter with snow, and find it challenging to spread since they are in the barrels.

What is it about plants that makes some of us so happy?  I get so jazzed about planting that I can hardly breathe steadily at garden centers.  When someone tells me of a plant swap, I clear the calendar to attend.  I start to swoon at the first smell of mulch... crazy, I know. But don't you just love knowing that the tomato on your plate was warmed by the sun, and can bring nourishment to your family?  This year, I'm pretty sure more folks will be planting their own garden with the economy in the slump.  In planning my garden this year, I vow not to be swayed by the fancy tomatoes and eggplant - I really just want the 'easy to take care of' organic varieties that will do well and feed my family.  At this point, I don't feel we have a choice - we all need to do something about feeding ourselves in order to break the pattern of putting pesticides and additives in our bodies.
My heart will be singing this weekend as I linger over the incredible offerings at the Gore sale.  I will post photos once I get back.

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