Back into the garden

“When the world wearies,

and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.”

Quote by Minnie Aumônier

Today the garden was my safe haven and refuge as the world sometimes is too overwhelming, especially now when the restrictions and limitations due to corona has such a huge impact on our daily lives. When I feel a little lost and lonely in this busy world I find rest and solace in my garden when noticing the first signs of spring, new life and growth.

It was a cloudy day although the sun showed up now and then. And with the mild temperatures, it felt like one of those first most welcome spring days. All the snow has gone and the garden has thawed. I was eager to work in the garden and smell the rich earth and enjoy the birdsong!

This is the veggie garden at the end of winter. I’ve been cleaning up the remains of the green manures of the beds. Some parts are still covered with a blanket of leaves but these are easily to be removed at the beginning of March. The soil can now slowly start to warm up by the sun.

“The garden is never dead; growth is always going on,

and growth that can be seen, and seen with delight.”

Quote by Henry Ellacombe

While working I’ve already discovered those first signs of growth. Promising life after a long winter. During these months so much has happened deep down in the soil and within plants themselves. Isn’t it amazing how suddenly the spring bulbs pop up through the soil and fill us with delight?!

The first plants are bashfully unfolding their fresh green leaves in all kind of shapes. These are the leaves of aquilegia and lady’s mantle.

And suddenly I noticed the first blooming flowers. Who could overlook this bright dandelion? I’m already dreaming of sprinkling the flower petals on a fresh garden salad and use the leaves for a detoxing spring tea. Did you know that this amazing flower (no, I don’t call it a weed!) is packed with vitamin A, B, C and D, and iron and minerals, perfect to cure our spring fatigue. Nature really knows best what we need!

The other delicate flower is speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys). I really love its fragility and uplifting purple-blue color, don’t you?!

Finally I could feel the soft soil in my hands and inhale its rich scent. This precious earth will nourish us and provide fresh vegetables on our plates and beautiful flowers in vases to enrapture us. It’s truly a miracle! And I’m not talking about it yet how certain substances in the soil have a positive effect on our brains and wellbeing. These substances are released when having your hands in the soil. So let’s make our hands dirty!

Time to clean up my garden/potting table and preparing it to sow and plant when spring is here!

Sometimes I even find silver jewels in the garden… Shiny pearls of rain safely hidden in a palm cabbage leaf.

I still don’t want to remove these dried seedpods of honesty as they look so enchanting when the soft winter sun is shining. They are the only seedpods in my garden which doesn’t get brown but instead keep on glittering like true medals!

Even in winter I can harvest some vegetables like these wintergreens in bright colors! Green curly kale and Swiss chard with candy pink stems. This picture is made before the the freezing and cold period we had last week. I’ve made a delicious curry with it, the perfect food on a winter evening!

Winter purslane is growing into a soft green carpet in the cold frame. And this Swiss chard has survived the freezing cold and snow of last week.

At the end of this garden day, I’ve picked some willow catkins branches and pruned branches to put in a vase to daily watch them grow! Today I’ve also been pruning the aronia berry, the red, white and blackcurrants, jostaberry and gooseberry bushes. Bringing some of those branches inside, is such a joy as they’ll slowly unfold their leaves and add a spring feeling inside our home!

I hope you’ll also find some time to slowly start working in the garden and prepare it for the busy sowing season ahead! And to enjoy those first signs of life and early spring in the garden. These tiny pleasures surely fill you with joy, especially now when the world wearies and the pandemic is still going on. May the garden comfort you and be your safe haven in these troubled times!

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