Gardening and home cooking have a lot in common, creating sustenance and comfort by combining basic ingredients using simple techniques. Fertilizers are like salt and pepper: a little bit goes a long way. And adding stuff to your soil is like crumbling crackers into soup or chili.
Some of the strangest space creatures in the known universe grow right here on our own planet, including in Mississippi. Several years ago, I learned that the first plant to be successfully grown from seed to flower in space was one of my garden favorites, a tidy bush zinnia called Profusion Orange.
What’s going to happen to my garden, tools and books when I move on to another Eden? As Victory Garden host Roger Swain observed, “Few gardens outlive the gardener for long; but many plants outlive the garden.”
My neighborhood hosts a largesse of edible stuff people don’t seem to appreciate. There’s a small tree in a nearby churchyard with beautiful spring flowers that everyone appreciates. But in the autumn, it bends under the weight of hundreds of large, beautiful, crisp, sweet crabapples, which usually fall, untouched.
Get ready for Blackberry Winter 2020, which is probably right around the corner. That’s the folk name for the late frost that nearly always puts an abrupt end to two or three weeks of gloriously warm weather, taking the wind out of our Spring fever sails.
Are those little clumps of flowering greenery in your winter lawn weeds, or wildflowers? It’s possible to see them as both, and garden accordingly. My earliest lawn care memories predate my working at garden centers helping customers sort out liquid and granular herbicides, and later studying turfgrass management at MSU.
Who knew my cheery collection of durable potted plants had such deep roots? It’s not quite the Hanging Gardens of Nineveh, but my little cottage home, overstuffed with furniture-like tropical beauties and racks of cascading foliage comfort me all year, especially this chilly month, connecting me with the outdoors.