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Yesterday I visited my vegetable garden in the 30 degree weather.  All the work of the past year laid out before me, and all the work left undone, too.

January Garden (2)

So now come my guilty gardening confessions. I didn’t clean out my beds this year. Not just the old plants that should have gone to the compost like those above (we recently picked the last of the broccoli and are still picking some kale!), but all of the structures are still out there. And the hose and drip lines and the water timer. Horrible, right?

January Garden (5)

It doesn’t end there. I planted spinach, kale, and carrot seeds for a fall harvest, taking the time to make lovely little rows, water them, and even watch them grow a bit. Like this:

January Garden (6)

And then my day job became absolutely consuming, along with show preparation and then holiday preparations. I stopped paying any attention to the garden except to pick some random produce that was still growing, and sometimes I even had the rest of my family do it for me!

As I walked around the garden yesterday I could feel huge waves of guilt wash over me as I looked at all that had been left undone. I had just been thinking that it was time to start planning out this year’s seed order and planting schedule and seeing the garden stopped me short. A voice, not so quiet, was saying, “How can you even think about planning the new garden when you haven’t taken care of the last one?”

Cherry Tree Against January Sky

Then another little voice whispered, “Let it go, melt. Soften in the face of what has happened.” Breathing, I slowly let my traps relax ever-so-slightly and kept walking around the yard, taking in our little bit of land that I love so much. I WILL be planning my garden for the coming growing season SOON. I will also take advantage of any warmer weather coming up to clean up and put to bed what I already have, as best I can. I will find a way to dance away from the guilt and remember all the work I did put in instead. Softening, it is a practice for me.

5 Responses to “Softening in the Face of Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda”

  1. Rachel says:

    I think that while it is hard to accept sometimes, life gets away from all of us. And there are probably more ‘should ofs’ that don’t get done than any of us care to admit. This one…I’m glad to see you are letting it go…doing what you can when you can and moving on. It’s a great ‘soften’ lesson!

  2. Ashley says:

    I did the same thing this year – my tomato plants are still hanging out in my teeny, tiny garden. I’ve been meaning to clean them out for months now, but all my energy seems to go to my job and other projects. I’ll try to follow your lead, and just relax about it, and fix it when I can.

  3. Steph says:

    It’s nearing the end of summer here and my ratty storm hit garden needs to be cleared out but I suspect it wont be. I felt really guilty for a while because I wanted a garden for so long as like everything else I lost interest once I got it. But I picked snow peas and calendula and beans and the tomatoes are growing and it has made me happy and thats the whole point for me. No guilt! Grow stuff and have fun with it!

  4. [...] was a bit of fun mixed in with the work that finally got done, clearing out our garden beds and readying them for the growing season [...]

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