Like the door in Narnia, our garden entryway looks a bit out of place standing alone and leading nowhere in the bleak grey landscape of not-quite-spring.
Ginny is hosting a link up of garden journal posts to visually chronicle the progression of the growing season. She's already inspired me to plant some garlic and put the beds to use over next winter. At present, the vegetable garden is empty and nothing remains but the dregs of last year's vines.
And this tangled mess is a view of the herb garden. You can see that I am one to skip what is commonly called 'fall cleanup', preferring to leave the dying vegetation of the previous season in place as a sort of natural mulch and to provide cover for foraging wildlife. I also just like the wild natural look.
If you look closely there is life to be seen,
and it's those bits of very much alive greenery that bring hope and joy to the gardener's soul.
But most of the action is going on here inside the house.
For several weeks now this has been an almost daily sight-
My vegetable seeds this year are from St. Clare Heirloom Seeds, a family owned company that specializes in non-hybrid, non-GMO, open pollinated seeds. I have been very pleased with the seeds, and they are packaged in handy little bags inside the paper envelopes for safe storing of the seeds (no more accidentally dumping the entire envelope of seeds out all over the ground because you dropped the packet out of your garden basket, if you know what I mean). Using open pollinated seeds also means you can save seeds at the end of the growing season for use next year, as well as letting plants reseed themselves in the garden, knowing that the new plants will be true to type (unlike hybrids).
Kateri is writing down everything she plants in Alice's sweet little Garden Notes book while I keep a more detailed list in my now fifteen year old garden notebook. In February we started peppers, tomatoes, rhubarb, spinach, kale, leeks, and several annual herbs. We also have a couple dozen types of flowers we've planted as well.
Kateri is so excited to check and see what's 'up' every morning. Mother, we have tomatoes now!
For me, the joy never of having new plants sprouting never gets old. I love to watch things grow, little by little, day by day, greener and greener. It's always amazing to think of the big plants and so much food that will delight and nourish us, all coming from those tiny brown seeds.
So this is what my 'garden' looks like for now as we plant and tend and wait for spring.
Edited to add: A commenter asked if it's too late to start seeds. It's still early in the season (at least where I live) and a couple of weeks delay isn't a problem - your harvests will just be a little later. You can go to the almanac site, type in your zip code, and it will give you the best planting dates for various seeds based on your location. Alternatively, this site has a planting guide worksheet that you can print out. I have another post on starting seeds here. The book I use for reference on vegetable gardening is The Vegetable Gardener's Bible.