Monday, May 30, 2011


What I like most about gardening is how it makes me feel when  touching dirt, digging holes, pulling weeds.
While my hands are working to clear a patch of land, my eyes see the finished task ahead of me, the vines that will develop from those seedlings, the fruit of those vines that will transported up to the house to become our lunch.

Gardening is all about work with hope.  It depends on our hands, our careful tending, our divining the weather and preparing the right mixture of sand and loam to nourish those tiny roots.

Gently nudging  in concert with mother nature, we try to control as many elements as possible so that we may live by the fruit of our labor, the sweat of our brows: tender shoots are hand watered, predators kept at bay. We are gentle mothers and fathers.  If we can nurture our bodies through this activity, we are truly blessed and satisfied.

Every year I have great plans, great satisfaction and abject disappointment too. Every year, some things die, some things sprout out naturally and miraculously, and some things just take off and invade all my wildest dreams.

The picture above was from last summer's winter squash patch. I harvested so many zucchini, delicata squashes and winter melons that my daughter and  neighbors were kept well stocked/
We accept the results of gardening with grace and patience. We are surprised by abundance, humbled by failure and work cooperatively with the seasons and the elements.


  1. rosaria, i remember seeing your garden over the years. i have much the same planning, less the work, and less the foresight too. it always seems skin of my pants in the last and dying moments, for it is all dying as it lives, a running alongside trying to keep up with the season before it disappears. it is a valuable lesson i hope i learn better through the years.


  2. Yes, Erin, you have known this part of me. You didn't know me when, like you, I had a job and a family to tend to. Then, gardening was 'skin of my pants in the last and dying moments.'

    I'm experiencing a renaissance of leisure time, freedom to take long naps, long walks, long rants. All remember of my youth, was sorting through stacks of chores. Now, I can choose how I spend my time; and that is the main difference.

    The irony? After a half hour of hard work, I'm spent.

  3. Surely our bodies and those who partake of such bounty are doubly nourished. I just have my little balcony to grow things on but get delighted by the abundance.

  4. I don't think that there can be many activities more rewarding than the gardening you describe. I have had mixed success with my attempts -- one thing I hate is having dirt under my fingernails -- isn't that silly? But I do appreciate the efforts of those who are successful -- the plots of vegetables grown by our neighbors and friends in France are as beautiful as any flower garden. From the windows of our house we are able to witness the different stages -- from the tilling of the soil to the ripening of the fruits of their labors. Right outside our bathroom window is the fruit of a fig tree and on the other side of the garden there is a peach tree that is so laden with fruit that its branches touch the ground. In between grow melons, haricots verts, garlic, Tomatoes and more. Towards the mid-day meal Paulette will venture out to pick something fresh for the pot! Some would say she looks haggard and ill-kept, but to me she is absolutely beautiful.

  5. Love your phrase..."Gardening is all about work with hope!" We spent the weekend working in our garden as well. Gardening is also humbling for me. Try as I may, nature always puts me in my place. The healthiest looking tomato plants so far are the volunteers that emerged from my homemade compost, not the ones I have coaxed along. I can't bring myself to remove them since they exerted the effort to germinate we will see what variety they are when they produce! :-)

  6. Oh dear! Isn't it fun to share these things? It's been a strange spring here, mostly rain. Whatever doesn't drown is fighting to stay erect, and then the innumerable slugs that eat everything.

    My fava are in great shape, and I'm planting them everywhere. Come to think of it, I shall throw fava seeds in the compost pile too, as my compost is not ready to be used up yet.

    Thanks for your visit, dear friends.

    Mary--A balcony can sustain us too.

    Broad, without dirty fingernails, nothing grows.

    Patricia--I always thought that gardening in Southern Cal was easy compared to this climate. But then, you remind me that there are challenges everywhere.