In early morning, when the birds are singing the sun awake, when warm rays stretch across the soil, when there's dew on the grass, that's my favorite time to be out there. Digging, pulling, planting, tending. As of today, the garden will be fully planted (oh, save for those strawberry plants coming in the mail). This feels so very good. Far later than what I'd hoped, but I've chosen not to fret about that. Things will grow. There will be blossoms, there will be fruit. There will be harvest. And next year, I'll try again for an earlier start. I'm ever thankful there's no limit to trying again.
In my eight, 4x12 foot beds dug directly into the lawn, I've got tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beans, peas, kale, chard, romaine, arugula, mesclun, endive, spinach, beets, radishes, onions, summer squash, bell peppers, jalapeño peppers, dill, chives, sage, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, and soon, strawberries. Tucked in here and there nasturtium and marigolds will bloom.
I've changed things up a bit this year, trying different varieties than I have before, switching different veggies to different beds, giving the trellises to the cucumbers to climb, using sticks for the peas, and giving one entire bed up for strawberries.
Gardening is so much one great experiment. Each year I've done things a little differently, reading what I can, doing what I can, changing what I can, trying what I can. Small steps, that's what's been the important thing to keep in mind. Keep it manageable, and notice what you have. A bumper crop of tomatoes would be a success (maybe this year?), but success is also chives snipped over eggs. And spearmint in your tea cup.
If all I had were a few pots, I'd have a potted garden. Some lettuces, radishes, Little Finger carrots, green onions; herbs for snipping; a cherry tomato planted in the center of one big bot, with basil around the perimeter. All of it a salad, there, waiting to be snacked. The miracle of growing food doesn't require a garden bed, how lucky.
Are you a gardner, big, small, or somewhere in between? How's the progress where you're at?
Two of my favorite resources: