Rows of seeds hold promise of springtime

Published 8:51 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Oh yes, it happened; displays filled with every kind of seed imaginable arrived. I spotted them when I walked through the door of the garden center.

There it was — the promise of spring in neatly lined up seed packets. The pictures on their fronts were glorious. Bright green beans, wonderful yellow squash, amazingly red tomatoes. Heaven waiting for me to purchase as much of it as I desired.

Every year when buds pop out on the trees and life pushes through the ground in green shoots, I get the gardeners’ itch. My imagination goes crazy dreaming of cucumbers I’ll harvest and cherry tomatoes that will fill my salad — of course using the lettuce I grew.

Maybe it’s genetic. Both of my grandmothers were gardeners and I remember making trips to pull baby onions from the earth and fill buckets with beans and strawberries.

My daddy told the story of Grandmamma bringing me home smelling like an onion after I ate a fair amount of what we pulled up. Mama Helms laughed at how many strawberries made it into my mouth instead of her bucket.

At 94, my mother grows things in her raised flowerbed. We had many conversations last year about the progress and state of her tomato and pepper plants.

So you see, it is in my blood. Genetic programming causes me to buy handfuls of seeds and plants. It is not my fault I have a drawer filled with last year’s (and probably some from 2010) leftover seeds. I inherited this addiction.

The one glitch in this growing/harvesting plan is that sometimes getting to  planting hits a wall. I get all excited about being out there, hands in the dirt and under the fingernails, right up until time to actually get it done.

In my head, I’m ready to go. It’s moving my body and letting go of the million other things I find to do before getting around to planting that creates the problem.

If I ever manage to push myself out the door, slid my hands into my gloves and start moving soil around, I’m hooked. The hours melt away and I’m lost in sweat and complete contentment.

It’s getting going that’s my issue. Today is a perfect example. When I saw the sun shining and heard the weather guy predict a beautiful day, I vowed to be out early with my shovel and seeds. I meant it when I made the vow — I really did.

Now it is after 11 and I haven’t set one foot outside. I’ve looked at my seed packets, read the planting directions, thought about where to plant what. That is as far as I’ve gotten.

Perhaps, it is past gardening experiences that make me hesitate. In years gone by, I dreamed of bountiful harvests only to battle sandy soil, too much dry weather and armies of bugs. It was too heartbreaking and I promised I’d not do it again. No more putting myself and my plants through it.

Ah, but then those seed displays arrive and the sweet baby plants show up in the garden center and I forget the failures of the past. “This year will be different.” That’s what I tell myself as I scoop up seeds and plants.

Today I’ve been pondering this (instead of doing any of the planting I vowed to do). I decided this urge to garden is not just genetic; it is imbedded in human DNA. It’s an expression of our connection to nature. It is a demonstration that we are part of nature, not separate from it.

This morning (as I was procrastinating instead of planting) I read this in my daily inspiration.

“When eating fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.”

I love that thought. And, in case I either don’t get the seeds planted or experience another gardening disaster, I will think about the person who planted the onions, strawberries and cucumbers that I will enjoy eating in a few months.

Nancy Blackmon is a former newspaper editor and a yoga teacher.