by Richard Kordesh
Each gardening season blossoms differently. After this year’s extended winter, we faced a halting start with a few of our traditionally reliable vegetables. Perhaps because the cold had lasted well into April, fewer bugs turned up as food for the birds in May and June. To compensate, our winged friends ate seedlings that, in past years, they had left alone. Beets sown in May barely saw the light before being nipped to the ground.
Consequently, we had to restart cucumbers and pole beans. I adjusted to the birds’ heightened interest by spreading loose netting over the lost plants’ replacements. This second time around, the cucumbers spread and the pole beans surged. Today, the latter’s vines stand over six feet tall. Beet and arugula seeds rest, waiting to spawn a fall crop.
The season unfolded uniquely in other ways as well. This is the first summer in which Maureen and I have experienced our habitat alone. Our youngest, Greg, remained at the University of Iowa after the spring semester. The four bedrooms that kids used to occupy now stand empty.
Yet, even with the family more dispersed, the garden still draws us together for celebrations, reflections, and horticultural renewal. In late spring, Tim dropped by to seed a row of black-eyed peas. Home for a short break, Greg started two rows of sweet onions. Kathy planted roses, astilbe, peonies, and hydrangea: their flowers will adorn benches and tables at her wedding next June.
Despite the challenges, our roots hold firm, even as our vines spread to new places.
Guest blogger Richard S. Kordesh is the author of Restoring Power to Parents and Places and has worked professionally in the community development field for 35 years. Visit Richard's website for more.