And though one has begun to search for signs of spring almost since January, and to receive them, like postcards sent on a long voyage to home, it is with the greening of the grass that spring has, finally, certainly arrived.
To have a successful garden, you need the three M’s: money, muscle and manure.
However, good gardeners are not quite sane.
The boundary between vulgarity and romance, by the way, is of the very slightest–a very thin purple line, over which even the nicest of us may stray.
It is always “next year” when you have a garden.
My garden, I realized, was full of imaginary corrections, mirages, plants that I saw not as they were, but as I imagined them, in another year or two, when the garden would be mature and perfect.
…The plants didn’t speak to me directly. …It was more of an instinct, a kind of quiver in my gut that got stronger as I got to the right place. Like a divining rod. I have come to believe that most gardeners have one of these, although we don’t talk about them and the topic isn’t covered in any gardening book that I’ve ever seen. This instinctual feeling about where to plant, this sort of gardening divination, stays silent during the planning process…But when I was standing in the garden with a seedling in my hand, it cleared its throat and spoke up.
It didn’t occur to me…that gardening, like music, could demand practice, patience, a willingness to make mistakes.
I would rather have three weeks of a flower I love than months of one that is commonplace.
Every gardener who has an interest in heirloom plants must learn to live with mystery.