Gardening is Life Affirming

Carolyn’s Online Magazine (#COMe)


I’ve had a few mornings this spring when I could take my morning coffee outside and enjoy the warm air as I read the newspaper.

This first morning that lent itself to being outside so early in the morning I found myself pondering my potential garden as I sipped my coffee and watched a cardinal discover his food supply. Shortly I heard him call his mate. A blue jay stopped by to enjoy a treat after the cardinal left.

Usually by this time of year I’ve been pulling weeds (plants growing where I don’t want them to grow) from my tiger lily patch by my rock wall. It’s a fight—me against them—and, having long runners from which they send out new growth, they have the winning advantage.

This year I’ve yet to garner the energy to begin this fight. I think it’s because I have so much inside clutter I’m still sorting through, trying to dispose of much of it, and I can’t think beyond this activity.

However, I do have my ‘babies’—greens growing in big containers.

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These cool weather crops had to be covered during this month’s cold spell, and they looked anemic when the cover was removed. They recovered and soon reached a size where I needed to protect them from being eaten by our friendly deer. They are now covered with deer netting, a great product to use in my fight to keep my plants away from deer. I’m looking forward to fresh greens—lettuce, Swiss chard, kale—in a couple of weeks.

I’ve also started broccoli, which might make it. I’ll plant snow peas and green beans. Not many, but some. It’s too disheartening that our crop always seems to ripen when we are traveling.

I’m enjoying Mother Nature’s non-gardening crop. Chives are a great offering. Clipped fresh from their patch they flavor many recipes.

Mother Nature also offers an array of exquisite flowers. The first hint winter is over are the snowdrops. Colts feet poke their heads up—they look much like dandelions but their blooms precede their leaves.

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The daffodils and tulips provided spring color, blooming in time for this year’s early Easter. They’re spent now, their season done. Trillium and violets—shades of purple and pink—now decorate my yard.

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Monte is pleased one of his rhubarb plant is growing, but disappointed two others aren’t showing foliage yet.

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He likes to fight dandelions, and is disappointed they’re winning. No matter how many he digs up other yellow heads jump out and mock him. Although our front lawn is pretty clear of this yellow flowered plant, our driveway and back area provide him much exercise.

Warmer weather will inspire me to pull weeds from my tiger lily patch. Weeds pulled are related to removing the negative parts of my life and thoughts. I like to think I become a better person as the tiger lilies gain more root space.

Warm weather will also inspire me to dig in the dirt. Is this a throw-back to my childhood, when I made castles in cool wet sand? I don’t make mud castles, but there’s something satisfying in getting my hands dirty while digging in the soil.

As each year passes I consider not planting a garden. Last year I told Monte I wasn’t going to plant.

“Why should I? It all becomes deer food.”

I’d thrown down the gauntlet: I’m not planting a garden if there’s not a wire fence to keep the deer out.

“I’m not putting a fence up.”

I sat back and relaxed, thinking I had one less battle to fight. However, it wasn’t long before Monte was pounding in stakes on which to attach chicken wire.

So, yes, I’ll plant a garden. The deer fence enables me to fight the deer and win.

There’s something about a garden that’s deep within Monte and I.

Does digging in the dirt take me back to my roots? I recall my grandfather’s garden (my older sister and I lived with him as young children). It wasn’t big, but my grandparents produced an ample crop

Monte’s family was a farm family.

Gardening is life affirming. Monte and I will enjoy the limited supply of the fruits of our labor.

If you’ve never garden, try it. If you are a gardener, get out there and dig. Then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea as you watch your garden grow.

My coffee cup is empty now. I must move on to the many tasks I’d like to complete before the weather warms up and the soil calls me.

Have a good day.


NOTE: The WordPress prompt for March 18, 2016, is fight.


About carolyncholland

In several if my nine lives I have been a medical lab technician and a human service worker specializing in child day care, adoptions and family abuse. Currently I am a photo/journalist/writer working on a novel and a short story. My general writings can be viewed at My novel site is
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