Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Plants Grow Me

 Sweet Basil growing on the kitchen windowsill.

Basil is an intentional plant.  You have to decide you want it and plant the seed.  You have to wait for it and wait for it.  It will only germinate in the right conditions.  It loves warmth and lots of watering.  You have to give it what it needs each day or it will not thrive.   But when properly cared for it is a sweet aroma and useful for many things.  
 Wild rose outside the window.

This wild rose was trying to grow in the wrong spot.  I know, I know, plants are supposed to know these things, like where to grow and when, but not this guy.  Perhaps that is why it is called a wild rose.  I saw it and dug it up and put it in a proper place.  It needed the sunshine and shelter of the spot right outside the window.  It also happens to be now right where our family can see it every day and enjoy its beauty. In the fall it will give us fruit, but only now because its in the right spot where it can get what it needs.
Concord grapes just forming on the vine

Last year, we decided it was time to really prune back the grapevines.  They are so overgrown after years of not being tended.  We still were getting fruit from them, but the trellis supporting them had become rotten and needs to be rebuilt.  It is such a tangle of vines that in order to rebuild we really needed to cut it down completely just to sort it out.  I had read about it and was glad to learn that grapes are very resilient and would grow back even better than before, but still I was hesitant.  Grapes only grow on second year vines and I didn't want to miss out on the fruit.  

Last fall we decided it was time though, and I cut the vines back alot.  It was hard work and felt somewhat emotional to me.  I remembering being upset that I had to do it, but didn't feel qualified for the task.  I had tried and tried to find someone to do it for me.  Someone who knew how to prune back old tangled vines, but I couldn't find anyone.  Finally deciding it was my mess to deal with, I went to work.  After two days of work, I finished most of the cutting with the intent of doing more in early spring as we rebuilt the trellis.  And then spring came, and it was wet and cold and the planting took longer than we anticipated and the trellis never happened.  And last week after the storm I found the vines were suddenly green and bearing fruit.  More fruit than I could've even imagined.  And I am not afraid of pruning anymore, since I've seen with my own eyes what it can produce.
 Snow Peas in Bloom

I love growing peas.  Their vines are graceful, their flowers dainty.  They grow little pods full of sweetness all packaged up like a gift.  All the while it gives back to the soil nutrient rich nitrogen.  Carefully fixing the nitrogen deep down so it will stay put until it is needed for another plant.  I check on them each day and they remind me of how I want to be.  They whisper growth right down into me.


  1. this is beautiful! (and so are the plants!)

  2. we are growing peas too! it is our first time having a garden. so exciting and so much to learn!