The Last, Perfect GardenPublished on: Mar 03, 2023
The farm hasn’t seen frost in two weeks or so. Some of the days have reached all the way to 80, creating a false spring that’s tricked the Bradford Pears into doing the only thing they’re good for: looking pretty.
I can’t really say I blame them. Walking the dogs and coming in with wet boots instead of frosty ones, seeing the new growth, hell even the start of allergy seasons is signaling that Spring is here.
I know this.
The false spring of 2020 come with hard enough late frosts that Virginia vineyards lost their entire yields. And my area typically sees frosts through the middle of April. So, putting anything in the ground is just a recipe for heartbreak.
I’m not looking for heartbreak.
But the urge to get started, to rush and make mistakes… I’ll be damned if the fake spring breezes don’t make me want to get out there in the dirt.
I’ve told myself no. I’ve kept to the preparation phase, with the first plants - the herbs - still inside. I settled on the crops for my garden and I’m picking up seeds for the ones that I can start early and transport. I’ve got grow lights.
I’ve ordered my first batch of fruit trees for the orchard. They’re older. Hardier. They should be here next week.
I’ve got shovels and rakes and hoes and this neat cross between a “child’s wagon” and a “tonka dump truck” to haul things around the property.
And because I literally wrangle complex futures for a living, I have it all planned out at pixels-per-foot in Figma.
So, with nothing in the soil. With nothing having gone wrong yet, these next few weeks mark the last time my garden will be perfect.
I’m assuming that once things start getting planted, problems will crop up. I’m worried about the deer. Locals have spotted the regional buck in my field, so I’ve been googling around that. And there’s bugs already. Plus all the problems I don’t know.
Worrying about a problem before it happens just means the problem hits you twice, though.
So, for now, before anything goes wrong. And before anything goes right. For now, I’ll sit with the plan and enjoy the last time my garden will be perfect.