These past few days have found me perusing gardening books, seed catalogs, and articles with instructions to the perfect compost pile. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a vegetable garden, and I have never lived in Colorado until last fall, so the climate, the soil, are new to me. In Florida, my few attempts at container gardening were lost to bugs, heat, and vermin.
My butterfly garden thrived, however, and kept the birds and bees happy as well. But vegetables, well, it’s been over 22 years since I had a vegetable garden. So now the fun begins. My old butterfly garden sits in Florida surrounded by what remains of my old life there. The memories are beautiful, but now it is time to make new memories and sow new seeds. If the milkweed I planted in Florida fed the being of the Monarch butterfly, so did the people in my life feed my soul.
Here in a new landscape, I will cultivate seeds in my gardens. The butterfly garden will be filled with such treats as milkweed, wisteria, purple haze, thyme, and petunias. Pollinators will thrive from the newly planted food source, clear of pesticides, and birds will gather to rest and feed. The vegetable garden will produce healthy, nutritious food for our household, and contribute to the birds, bees, and butterflies. The brilliant hues of flowers, leaves, herbs, will serenade our homestead- Nirvana Acres- in a symphony of color as the wildlife contributes to the artistry of our surroundings.
Pulling up roots, moving halfway across the country, and settling down anew parallels my current garden undertaking. After all, isn’t life basically about planting seeds, giving them nourishment, tending them carefully, and harvesting the fruit of our labors? Life, too, is like a garden. We decide what we will fill it with and who to fill it with. We cultivate our relationships, careers, and pastimes. Our bookshelves are filled with books that inspire us, intrigue us, entertain us. We might have collections to please the eye, or to declare what we love, what reminds us of a value. Pictures to harness memories. Favorite blankets to curl up under. We fill our lives with people who enrich us, enthrall us, are endearing to us. Souls that bring smiles to our faces, love in our hearts, laughter to even our darkest nights.
It’s good sometimes, I think, to reflect on what we have planted in our life garden. Do we need to weed, to prune, to dig anything up? Should we water more or less, fertilize, rearrange? Is everything producing for us, or do some things need to go? And what would we like to have that we have yet to plant? Slowly, I am meeting people and making new friends. I tenderly plant them in my Beautiful People garden. Different shapes and sizes, they each contribute to this wonderful thing I call My Life. And eventually, I will share with them the food from my garden and the beauty of the flowers that will surround us.
As winter rolls on towards spring, my advice is to take time to find out the state of your garden and what you have planted there. Remember, you harvest tomorrow what you plant today.