Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Okay, everything is finally in the ground. Bulbs, seeds, tubers, corms... Lots of bare spots in the garden with all kinds of potential just under the surface and all I need now is a little more patience. With a little warm weather and some rain, they'll soon be up and growing, but I want them now.

My mom doesn't do the seed thing. She's into instant gratification when it comes to plants. So am I, but I'm too cheap to buy things that I can grow so easily from seed, like zinnias, marigolds, and cosmos. I usually save my seed from the year before, too, so they really are like getting free flowers every year. I just get them a little later than she does.

Of course, I also get the thrill of watching them first germinate, then get their true leaves, and then really take off and fill the spot that's been alloted to them. There is a certain satisfaction in raising them yourself from just a seed plopped into some soil.

The Bible uses the mustard seed as an exercise in faith - faith in The Master Gardener and faith that a mighty plant can come from a tiny seed, but have you seen a petunia seed?? How such a tough plant can grow from something not even as big as a grain of salt is beyond my comprehension.

This year, I've planted seeds of zinnias, cosmos, petunias, marigolds, nigella, larkspur, dianthus, nasturtiums, gaillardia, gazanias, cardinal climber vine, morning glories, scarlet runner bean, malva, cleome, baptisia, echinacea, basil, calendula, sunflowers, African daisies, English daisies, violas, and a few others that I can't think of right now. Almost all have germinated and I expect the rest will shortly. All the vegetable seeds we planted are up - sweet corn, green beans, cucumbers, watermelon, canteloupe, leaf lettuce, mesclun mix, cherry tomatoes, beets, and spinach.

Starting all those things from seeds makes for a lot of waiting. But that's part of what gardening is all about. It's just that our growing season isn't that long, so when you take into account the percentage of that time it takes to grow most plants to flowering or harvesting stage, you can see why I get a little antsy while I'm waiting for them to grow up.

On the other hand, last week I heard Martha Stewart say that it takes about 13 years for a garden to become established. Goodness. That's an awful long time to wait. Makes this year's seeds seem like they'll be grown and gone by oh, about November, and that will be here before we know it.

It's all relative.


Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

I think gardeners are the most optimistic people in the whole world because what we do requires a lot of optimism and faith. We believe that when we sow, most will come up. When we put bulbs in the ground we believe that some months later there will be wonderful blooms. And every year after a cold winter, we believe in a garden full of flowers and fruits and veggies in Summer.

Excellent post, Kylee!

Carol Michel said...

I'm happy to hear Martha Stewart thinks it takes 13 years to establish a garden. Mine is 10 years old this summer, and I was getting concerned it wasn't far enough along. Now I have 3 more years to get my act together in the garden!

kate said...

That's what I love about gardening ... the waiting, the anticipation, the excitement... thirteen years seems like a long time. But Martha should know, right?

Connie said...

Hi! Have enjoyed reading some of your posts....came here via Garden Voices. I can really identify with this post as I start most everything from seed. I recently started a garden blog...come visit sometime!

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