Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sweet Basil

The Mister's grandparents are avid gardeners. With even less earth than we have (hard to believe!), they've managed to work every inch of soil they've got into something green and lovely. The front is mostly dedicated to her flowers. She's got Clematis, some of which she's propagated herself, and the most amazing Butterfly Bush that's as round and perfect as any I've seen. While the back is all his to plant veggies and herbs. "If you can't eat it, it's not worth growing," he's been heard to say more than once, though no one believes it's sincere. Yet it does reveal much of the motivation behind his own gardening. For as much as he relishes getting his hands dirty, I believe he's equally moved by the sheer genius of growing one's own food. Not only can their tiny vegetable patch sustain them through the summer-- with plenty left to share with friends and neighbors -- but once that food has long been savored, there remains seeds from which he can always make more. Year after year. A simple principle. True.
But one I don't feel I've fully come to appreciate yet, especially as a new gardener who for now can only hope to shepherd her plants through one season.

So he shared his Basil seeds with us. I love imagining their lineage. How connected he is to them, and how now we're in the mix, too. I look forward to knowing these plants. I think I may fuss over them just a little bit more because they'll remind me how gardening orients you in this world. How as you work your tiny patch of soil it's easy to forget you're working the earth, too. How locked within every seed is the culmination of seasons come and gone. And how throughout every one of those seasons,
a gardener tended his garden.

1 comment:

ann said...

Hi Elizabeth!
What fun! You are doing a great job and the garden progression is terrific! It's a lot of labor, but the rewards are wonderful and they smell and taste good too! Keep up the good work! Donna sent me the link to your site!
Take care! Ann