March has always been a time to dream of the perfect garden. In the 18th century Miss Lucy Pegram Blow drew the sketch below. No still too cold outside to plant, the day when she sat by the fire and drew out her dream of summer bliss.
Here’s an artist’s rendering of what this 18th century garden looked like in full summer:
So I sit, here in the middle of a chilly Vermont March morning, dreaming. The main thing to remember when dreaming of the perfect garden is go with the flow. Dream big. I’ve got a big pad of paper and markers of all colors and sizes. I pretend I am a little kid who doesn’t know any better and off I go drawing beds of asparagus, a cranberry marsh, rows and rows of raspberry and blackberry canes, raised beds for heavy red tomatoes, fences of peas, and a huge border of giant sunflowers around the whole shebang.
Then I tear off the page, tape it to the wall and start again. This time I create an intricate herb garden that is woven together in curves and spirals. Trees of rosemary in the middle, red and green basil branching out in great arches, flat expanses of lemon thyme underfoot, and a sea of lavender stretching out like the rays of the sun in all directions.
Fabulous I say to my dreamy self. Rip. Tape.
Turning to my frugal self, I draw a practical vegetable garden. Wide rows of things I will actually use. What would that be? I walk over to the refrigerator and open it. What is actually in here? What do I use all the time?
Lettuce, carrots, celery, and broccoli. Turning to my vegetable bin I add onions (huge amounts, all dishes start with cutting up and onion while I decide what to actually cook…) garlic, hot peppers, and potatoes. Okay. Back to the drawing board. I sketch out lettuce beds, (making a note to plant in the lettuce in succession so that there is always something new, young and growing). Rows of carrots, celery and broccoli, and maybe a cauliflower, oh let’s add in brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Maybe I will make a big tub of sauerkraut. What about cucumbers! Oh yes. Big ones and those little tiny ones for pickles. Then the great mounded rows of mysterious potatoes, garlic and onions. Mysterious because one doesn’t quite know what they are doing under there or how big they are getting.
My heart is skipping along like a happy stone across the top of a big blue lake on a summer day. Oh what fun! Dreaming is part of gardening.
Rip. New paper.
The day turns from gloomy to giggly. Soon the walls are covered with dreams. Big dreams. Vineyards. Orchards. I’m practically planting Monticello! Why not? If even a bit of this March madness seeps into my actual gardens this next summer I will be the better for it.
But what if? you say to me. But what if bugs show up and what if they eat all my dream? Hey. We have tools, my friend. We have tools to handle the problems in life – SaferBrand.com has organic pesticides to take care of all that. Our job on this March day is to dream past the problems and soar.