It always amazes me to look at the little, wrinkled brown seeds and think of the rainbows in ’em,” said Captain Jim. “When I ponder on them seeds I don’t find it nowise hard to believe that we’ve got souls that’ll live in other worlds. You couldn’t hardly believe there was life in them tiny things, some no bigger than grains of dust, let alone colour and scent, if you hadn’t seen the miracle, could you?
L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams
I open the garage door and set up a work area in the sunshine. It’s a perfect March afternoon—the warmest day so far this year—I can’t wait any longer.
I drag a big bag of seed starting mix over, bend forward, and breathe deeply. Nothing smells better at this time of year than soil. That sweet aroma, coupled with sunshine and melting snow, is sure to turn winter cabin fever into spring fever.
I scoop some of the soil into a large bucket, pour water from my watering can over it, and reach in with a garden glove clad hand to massage the water into the soil. I work, slowly and mindfully, as aroma of spring wafts up.
When the soil and water are one, I scoop small handfuls into each of twelve little pots. Then, I choose the first of the white plastic sticks I’ve already labeled—this one says Brandywine—and reach for the matching seed packet.
I sprinkle three tiny seeds from the packet into my hand and pause.
Every year I’m struck by the miracle that one of these small seeds will turn into a plant that grows taller than me that will provide us with an abundance of delicious tomatoes well into autumn. The life lessons, and timeless wisdom, that come from tending a garden are plenty. We’re heading into the season of learning and it all starts with these tiny seeds.
I drop the trio of seeds into one of the pots (only the strongest will ultimately survive), cover it with a dusting of potting soil, and insert the stick label. I repeat until all twelve pots are planted—six varieties of tomatoes, three kinds of peppers, and basil. Such feasts will come from these humble beginnings.
I carry the pots into the house, cover them with plastic wrap, and place them gently on heat mats.
Garden magic begins today.