Pandemic Gardening

Landscapers and garden stores are back in business, essential or not, but I find I’m resistant to going into them. Who knows how many people fingered that pot of geraniums before I got to it? Wouldn’t a geranium die if you took it home and sprayed it all over with bleach? I decided to confine myself to sowing some chill-loving seeds, something I always mean to do and leave too long. Of course, this means I have some seeds lying about that should have been planted last year. Or the year before. We’ll see if they germinate: milkweed; campanula; violets.

tulips z

cat tulip tango

One successful experiment has been my “tulip tomato tango.” I learned about this from, where else, a company that sells bulbs. In fall, when you pull the tomato plants up, you put tulip bulbs in those raised beds. Since they’re inside a fence, the deer and rabbits can’t get to them. Plant early to midseason varieties, and in spring you have gorgeous flowers that are finished blooming by the time you want to put in the tomato plants. Not only lovely, but efficient.

I like to say this is me making progress in the garden, but the garden did it mostly on its own. Yes, I planted the bulbs, but then I went inside and did nothing all winter. No weeding, No feeding. That’s my favorite, wonderful thing about bulbs: they show how the natural world makes its own progress, even when the possibility for progress elsewhere is slight.

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