Thursday, February 24, 2005

Winter's Still Here

Winter's--er, snow's falling again. The forecasters are predicting some three to six inches of the fluffy stuff to land today. Of course, this means continued cabin fever for me. This close to March, especially after I heard some tv personality announce that the date has been set for the Cherry Blossom festivities dates, somehow the snow seems a bit misplaced.

The other day, someone mentioned a tempting topic for me--starting a community garden. Now, this could be a frustrating experience. Thankfully, some of the other people interested in the venture have more gardening experience than I do. The chance to introduce kids to growing some of their own food is exciting, as I have read that youngsters that refuse to eat vegetables in general will eat those that they grow. (What's next, cooking from the garden with the young'uns?)

My experience at food gardening has been less successful than a couple of long-time attempts to grow and maintain flowers. To me, morning glory was extremely easy to grow from seed, but not a good plant for a lazy teenager to grow in the summer, as I usually did not get out of bed early enough to enjoy those colorful trumpets. Another easy (nonweed) flower was the balsam, with its little bell-like flowers.

The tomatoes, on the other hand, were a different story. They just never grew past the green, tiny novelty size stage.

I've always had an envy of many people in the Washington area, who seem to go to a rural area of North Carolina or some other state in the summer in a yearly pilgrimage. Thus, to some degree, I've romanticized farming and gardening. Perhaps. Then again, maybe I'm just stubborn. I mean, people have gardened and farmed for millennia--I should be able to grow some food on a tiny parcel of land--even if that parcel is only a pot.

For the most part with my more recent attempts at container gardening, I've tried shortcuts--buying an herb plant, then transferring it to a container. Now, this generally works for a while, but then something goes awry. Not enough water, not enough drainage, hmm... The most recent victims have been thyme, mint, and lemon verbena. However, all is not completely lost if you lose a woody plant, for you can still use the dried leaves that remain, while you try to determine what went wrong.

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