Sunday, November 30, 2008

winter gardening

during the last few days of our thanksgiving holiday, we returned outdoors to complete some chores and close down the garden for the year.

thanks to the master gardener class i participated in this fall, i've learned so much about soil care and the importance of mulch and compost.  inspired by good gardening practices from this class and the absence of trees in our backyard, i've turned into a moocher of leaves, collecting them from friends, the neighborhood, even isaac's school.  these leaves, and some fresh mulch from a felled sycamore down the street, are blankets now for the garden.

we pulled dried up and dead annuals, dispersed leaves and mulch and collected aged debris and bits of brick (ubiquitous in our urban landscape).  it was a joy to be outside and work under late gray autumn skies.  with real formal and directed effort, this year is our first to bed down the garden for winter.  potential and productivity were far from my thoughts. i experienced a sense of surrender to the latency of nature - no birth, no growth, no activity to come.  the work was rewarding and peace-inducing.  as we moved dirt and tilled under compost i thought of spring's energy and our eager anticipation of sprouts bursting up through the soil.  in that season of new growth there is such expectation and hope, bated breath and ramped-up excitement. 

autumnal garden

with the arrival of winter to the garden, the opposite comes.  yesterday i felt comfort from the same nurturing urges that come with tucking a child into bed.  with gentle effort, we attended to each corner of the garden and all the different beds.  during this work i was reminded of the soil's labor during summer's fecundity and the food we were blessed with because of the garden's hard work.  this rite of passage into a dormant time seemed well-deserved and in the right order for the garden.   that the season of rest is as needed as the season of growth is a realization mostly missed by those of us so driven by production.

from a window upstairs, we can see the garden with it's thick layer of organic matter.  i feel like winter can come now.   sleep well dear garden.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Such gardening classes are always helpful
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