It seems like it takes forever for the winter snow to melt from our garden. As I look at the snow-covered plot in the early spring, it almost feels like our garden is a blank canvas, waiting patiently for the artist to come, pick up a brush, and start adding splashes of color here and there on that blank canvas.
The first hint of color comes as the melting continues—dark brown soil appears here and there. Then all of a sudden I notice tiny green spires shooting up in one area—sometimes even poking through the white snow! Our garlic, planted last fall, has made its grand appearance!
Next comes the strawberry patch. Strawberry is a perennial, so once it’s established it comes back every year! While I’m busy planting several rows of carrot, beet, lettuce, and spinach seeds, I keep my eye on the large strawberry patch. As I watch, I can observe the old brown plants from last year sending out new bright green leaves and shoots.
Horseradish is also a perennial, and soon broad little green leaves poke their heads up all over their assigned area at the end of one of the garden rows, where I planted the horseradish root quite a few years ago.
Soon it’s consistently warm enough to transplant the young seedlings that I started weeks ago inside our home in the little peat pot trays. Hundreds of small green plants now magically take their places in neat wide rows. Voila! we now have a real garden!!!
In early June a new color appears on the canvas—white flowers on the strawberry plants produce hard white berries which soon ripen into soft sweet juicy bright red strawberries! Our very first harvest of the year! Always so exciting—especially for my grandchildren. They’ve grown up experiencing the thrill of a treasure hunt in the strawberry patch every spring! Nathan once told me that he prefers the older areas of the patch where the plants grow very thick. He likes the challenge of parting all that thick greenery and discovering soft juicy bright red berries deep within the jungle!
From here on for the next few months, new shapes and gorgeous colors will appear day by day—bringing new life, new challenges—a never-ending visual display of changing artistry, ultimately exchanging scrumptious culinary rewards for all our efforts.