Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Salad in sight!

It's been raining, hard, for three days. We've been out (we always go out), but not really been spending a lot of time in the yard. It was wonderful to take a tour of the gardens today and see what changes the rain has brought. That's the lemon balm, above. We planted it last year in this leaky watering can. A ton of the soil seems to have disappeared, and yet, this plant is happy. In fact, it's coming along much more quickly than the other herbs in that bed; I think the metal can acts as a sort of greenhouse, keeping it nice and warm.

Oh, I do love perennials! I began gardening 12 years ago with a large flower border. I couldn't see myself spending the time, money, and energy involved to fill it with annuals; if I was going to invest all that, I wanted flowers that would last! And what a treat it was to have that garden come back year after year, better each time.

For years, that was it; our yard is much too shady for vegetables. Or so I thought! Then I heard about forest gardening, and it seemed like the perfect solution for me: works in shade and includes perennials for lazy gardeners like me. So I've slowly been working on incorporating more and more food plants into our yard, keeping the principles of forest gardening loosely in my mind.

Now, imagine us at the tail end of the winter, eating stored food all these months. We've been eating well, don't get me wrong. But it's been a long time since we've tasted fresh fruit, or crispy veggies, or greens. There are no frozen berries left. No onions, even. Imagine the thrill when we wander around the yard and find this:

(wild leeks!)

and this:


It's just a bit. Enough for one meal, in a while, when the plants get bigger. But it's something. The seeds I planted haven't even poked above the soil yet. But my "forest garden" is already producing food. And it'll only get better every year.
Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a copy of Spring; I'm choosing a winner on Friday. Your chances of winning are really good!


Julie said...

Love to see all the new vegetation emerge:)

Luisa said...

I admire your dedication to eating food that you stored. Loving your unexpected garden.