Stop And Smell The Roses
Kneeling amidst freshly tilled rows in the soft morning light, the temperature wonderfully tolerable, your beds are bursting with layers of color, texture, and scent. From the robust jade of broccoli to the luminescent pearls of peas, your garden is like eye candy.
Sugar white blossoms of your strawberry plants, cherry red tomatoes clinging to the vine, your garden awakens the senses. In a few hours, rays of sunshine will stream down and explode the brilliance of yellow squash, set fire to the vibrant trio of peppers, and accentuate the saucy mellow purple of the black bean pod.
Have you ever looked at your garden this way? Ever pondered the veritable smorgasbord that awaits you? You should! Better than stopping to smell the velvety petals of Valentine’s Day, you should linger in your early summer garden and its row after row, bed after bed, of glorious sensations.
Scents And Sights
Steep yourself in the heady pleasure of rosemary, its rich fragrance released by the slightest touch.
Linger in the luxury of lavender, the tiny little petals packed with perfume.
Nearby, your basil will beckon you closer. Oblige yourself. Pinch back the buds and tempt yourself with their promise of intense culinary delight.
Wander further and you’ll pick up a hint of garlic. Pull one from the ground and you’ll be overcome by its decadent aroma. Pasta, anyone?
Yet more than indulging your sense of smell and sight, take note of the texture; curly melon tendrils, silken strands of cornhusk, knotty bodies of cucumber, leathery-skinned cantaloupe, fuzzy ridged okra. I could go on and on!
The Work Of Enjoyment
And while you could feel guilty for your distraction from duty, don’t. This is not a negative indulgence.
From the feathery tickle of carrots to the firm, elongated body of zucchini, humans need to touch and be touched. We need to connect with the environment around us in very real ways, and one of ours happens to be through the garden.
Besides, there’s plenty of time for weeding and feeding, watering and watching later. For now, smooth your hand around the supple body of a cabbage, run your fingers along the flourishing ribs of Swiss chard, caress the buttery soft leaves of lettuce and find comfort in your connection with nature. It’s an intoxicating experience that’s rewarding on so many levels!
Mother Nature And Her Creatures
Beyond the personal satisfaction of harvest, beyond the practical aspect of healthy living, stand witness to the miracle of Mother Nature. Allow the pollen flight of the bee to amaze you as he diligently buzzes among the blossoms. Search for signs of the ladybug as she scurries across the flat expanse of a leaf. Traveling over and around, up and down, she knows there’s work to be done; a cycle of life that must continue.
If you linger, you may be charmed by the graceful flutter of the butterfly, or treated to a sprinkle of sunlight in the wings of the dragonfly. As you stand watch, surrounded by the fruits of your labor, rest assured all is in perfect order.
A tingle zips up the spine, and you still have yet to harvest!
I ask you, is there anything more gratifying than the sweet reward of reaping what you sow? Not when it comes to the vegetable garden.
Hard work and diligence sustain us. They nourish our soul while a healthy harvest feeds our body. Healthy indulgence is good for us.
After all, there’s a reason many centenarians are gardeners!
More: Stay tuned this fall for how to usher your garden into the winter months. In the meantime, you can revisit all the posts in the Beginner’s Guide To Gardening series.