I think I may have a terrible memory. Actually I know I do. This has been brought to light repeatedly over the seasons as I fail to label my seeds, seedlings and plants in the garden with a ‘sweet as, she’ll be right’ attitude. I never remember, and have even forgotten what plant I am holding in my hand as I transplant it from the pot to the garden.
These days I am a prolific labeller. It only takes me a few seasons to learn valuable lessons. And my other key to success is planting things in alphabetical order. I find this is most helpful not only in seed trays but as the season progresses and the harsh summer sun has faded my scribblings to be barely legible.
This season I have 20 different kinds of tomatoes in my garden and I am pretty impressed with my restraint. They are all in alphabetical order starting with the Amish Paste and stopping with a yellow variety. I should really find one that starts with Z just to be able to say I grow my tomatoes from A to Z. I’m sure there is one, as there are so many different kinds of tomatoes available out there and available to the home grower.
However in my efforts to grow all the tomatoes I wanted, some seeds didn’t survive the first and in some cases the second round of seed sowing. But determined to have them in my garden this season I didn’t give up and nurtured some tiny late seedlings into full health. They always seemed so tiny, yet compared to their peers at a similar stage they were still meeting all the right milestones.
Finally I decided they were the ok to go into the big garden, and as the tiny Tigerella slipped in between the Summer Star and the Tommy Toe I couldn’t help notice just how big the first tomatoes had become with their stocky, sturdy stems and branches full of flowers. When did they get so tall?
A glance across the rest of the garden with fresh eyes made me realise that the whole garden looked like it had exploded into exponential growth with lush greenery about the place. Summer is finally here again and the plants are loving it.
I’d been so busy micro managing my garden, feeding it here, weeding it there, watering it everywhere and expectantly inspecting the plants thoroughly for the first signs of harvest, and hoping not to find pest and disease, and not to mention the countless trips to the garden centre for just one more thing, that I had failed to step back and observe.
As we enter what is not only one of the busiest seasons in the garden, but in our work lives as the year wraps up, and with our families as we prepare for the craziness that comes with Christmas, it is important to take some time and slow down. Appreciate all that you have worked hard to create.
Water the garden with a glass of your favourite something in one hand and the hose in the other. Instead of racing back into the kitchen with the freshly harvested, linger in the garden and nibble upon those peas, savour the taste of a sun warmed strawberry. Or better still set up a place where you can sit in your garden and unwind from the day and watch the plants grow.
Sometimes we can become too busy doing things that we fail to see what we have done. And then in the blink of an eye it is gone, the tomatoes have come and gone and you look back from autumn as you pull out the dying remains and wonder where did the time go?