A note to my Garden: I love you, and you’re a lot
August 30th 2022:
I am sitting in my garden chair (a new edition to the garden this year, every garden needs a garden chair) with a glass of basil cucumber water looking at all of the things. I talk about a lot of my favorite parts of being a gardener. In this moment, right now is one of my favorites. The beautiful trellis with cucamelons and multi colored runner beans. I have the basket filled with a rainbow of cherry tomatoes. Smelling the freshness that only a garden can release.
Watching the pollinators dance between flowers, the symbiotic relationship between the two of creating exactly what each other needs to flourish, doing what nature does.
I remember when I got my seeds, I had this idea to put walls of cherry tomatoes together, as you walk through, every step looks different with the variety of shades.
Green, yellow, stripes, chartreuse, purple. All in a cherry tomato that you can take off and taste. I was going to create an experience.
That vision I had translated from the garden, to the bowl in which these tomatoes sit on my counter. It surrounded my sister and I as we chatted about deep life thoughts. It then became a plate of slow roasted cherry tomatoes (250 for 3 hours) on the charcuterie board with a good bottle of wine and even better friends. Their next gifts were bags handed out to friends, family and local networking connections, a gift of something they could not get anywhere else in Rochester.
I was going through my seed catalogue with my coworker when I first got it in January. My mind was going wild in the possibilities, the vision. As gardener minds do in that season. I was showing him the beautiful varieties and talking through with him the aesthetic of the the hundreds of types of vegetables. His comment sticks out very vividly in my brain.
“It doesn’t really matter what they look like, it is about how they taste”
Which in it’s most basic form, is probably true. I am growing Cherry tomatoes. In the eyes of someone who has never built a garden, a cherry tomato has certain, specific qualities.
Yet I think that comment comes from someone who has never truly built a garden.
I just spent the last 3 hours weeding, pruning, tying, watering, loving on this garden in multiple ways. I spend time in this garden on a daily basis.
With the ability to, why wouldn’t I also create something aesthetically pleasing? Something I enjoy spending time in? Something with nuance?
Something that can simultaneously capture your nose, heart, eyes, and taste buds.
There are a plethora of grocery stores I can get to in less than 10 minutes yet I choose to spend time in this space. The beauty of it is important.
Some people create on canvas, on paper, on a piano. I create in the soil.
After 3 hours of hard manual labor, muscles exhausted, energy depleted, my heart is full seeing my vision come true. Watching Rowan frolic in the aisles of plants, seeing the beauty that I created, knowing what I have given to this garden, and the exponentially larger gifts it has given me, from vision to fruition.
Part of the beauty in the garden is to say thank you to the gardener. Thank you for the hard work. Thank you for the hours. Thank you for the early mornings. Thank you for the troubleshooting and failed seeds. Thank you for the effort. For the thought. For the love. This was all created because of you.
So I sit here, in my garden chair, writing to my future self, build something beautiful. Build something you enjoy spending time in, it will reward you, even when others don’t understand.