I’ve been gardening for a few years now, and while I started out with a desire to learn to grow food, it soon became apparent that growing flowers makes me just as happy (if not more so) as growing food. And few things make me happier than making pictures of flowers, so in honour of spring I’ve gathered up some of my favourite flower photos from the last few summers.
I found gardening overwhelming at first, learning about soil amendment and companion planting and succession planting, feeling like everything had to be perfect from the get-go. But after stressing about it, and noticing that the plants don’t really care if I’m stressed about them or not, I started to take things a little more slowly, a step at a time. Maybe I didn’t grow enough cucumbers to have pickles through the winter or enough greens for more than half a salad, but when I put a seed in the dirt, something happened, something sprouted or bloomed or grew a little before succumbing to my less-than-perfect soil.
After a couple of seasons of failed tomatoes and fava beans (I love tomatoes and fava beans and one day I will master growing them) I decided to be ok with learning one thing per year. One year it was planting beans and squash together. Then it was recognizing that shelling peas do great and so planting a lot more of them. Then it was wildflowers and calendula scattered everywhere to help keep the bad bugs away and invite the bees to come and stay.
The garden gets better every year. The tulips I planted two years ago have come back strong and thick, and the muscari and crocuses that were lackluster last year are pushing up through the leaf mulch I didn’t get around the spreading until December.
Last fall, with some help from the lovely Carissa of Seed and Nourish, I planted my beloved favas as a cover crop, and even if I don’t get to eat them I know they’re improving the soil a little, making life easier for all the plants to come this summer.
Last year we grew dahlias for the first time and we dug up the tubers at the end of the season and stored them to be re-planted this spring. I might not have done it exactly right and they might not all come back, but I trust that something will happen. Something will bloom.