“Is the spring coming?” he said. What is it like?”… “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…” – Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
The rainy May mornings have brought a tenderness to the days in the garden. I luxuriate in the raindrops that fall on the emerging leaves of maples and sift my hands through the moisture-laden compost. As warmth and daylight grow every day, I find myself in a trance of wonder by all the seasonal delights. A small family of tree swallows recently moved into a nesting box above the potager garden, a welcome sign of a healthy habitat. Each day I watch for them, mindful to take in the moment and enjoy the present.
Early spring has showered the garden with daffodil and tulip flowers, and as these flowers fade new blooms of lilac and Spanish lavender grace the garden. Fresh kale greens, spinach, herbs, rhubarb, and honeyberries keep my heart and harvest baskets full. There is a lushness about this time of year, a euphoria that is difficult to turn away from. May is also the time that gardeners begin to wonder when they should set out the tomatoes. However, instead of anticipating the fullness of the summer bounty, I choose to be content in the now. No easy task when Dahlias and Zinnias greet me every day in the greenhouse.
The rapid pace of growth in May also brings with it many weeds. I dedicate hours of each day to tumbling around the garden bucket in one hand and my weeding knife in the other. I carefully extract thistle roots and tug up tenacious grasses, hoping to free up the space for neighboring flowering plants. Bucket after bucket of weeds goes on the compost pile, with many more to be found in the garden. I do my best but these weeds can humble even the most patient gardener. However, after an afternoon of weeding, I am justly rewarded by the smiling flower heads of yarrow, free of the grasp of grass and thistle.
There is so much joy in this space, and so many lessons I continue to learn. I am humbled and renewed each day by all that this ecosystem continues to share.
Farm to Table
This month, our tasting room menu features the following items from the Brooks Estate Garden: -rhubarb, radish, kale, chive flowers, rosemary, thyme, and spring greens: spinach, arugula, and sorrel.
With love from the Garden – Shannon