My parents were gardeners. My grandparents were gardeners. I grew up with gardens. My first years as an adult I lived in a city and had no garden. When I moved to an apartment with a deck, I planted herbs and vegetables in pots. It was almost a garden but not quite. Finally I moved to Vermont. I had great hopes for a garden. We barely have any land, we live on the wrong side of a cold mountain in a dark little hollow, but I was determined to make it work. I hoped that sheer will could make flowers grow and tomatoes ripen, but soon learned that hope alone can't make a garden grow.
Every spring I was sure that this was the year my garden would flourish. Late May and early June were a flurry of plants, topsoil and mulch. I would start every season with great expectations that inevitably fizzled out by the 4th of July.
After years of growing more rocks and slugs than flowers and vegetables I have finally had to admit the obvious. I am a terrible gardener. I gave up. For the past few years, every spring, I have driven past nurseries with pangs of guilt and failure. Our yard has grown into a not unpleasant tangle of ferns and wildflowers. Maybe that is how it is supposed to be.
Still, today at the farmers market there were some inviting herbs. I imagined snipping fresh dill and chives for scrambled eggs, and dashing out to pick some basil to chop over tomatoes.
Just a few plants that I will plant in the sunniest place I can find. I will lovingly weed and water them, I promise. Maybe this is the year my garden will grow.