Turning the soil

by | Oct 11, 2013 | Uncategorized | 16 comments

There’s something so hopeful about starting a new spring garden. It means a renewal of faith, investment in a new cycle, and commitment to seeing it through.
I was out at the bach last weekend, and the earth was calling. It’s been so long since I’ve done any gardening, and I couldn’t wait to begin. Up the road I discovered bright young seedlings for sale: tomatoes, courgettes (zucchini), lettuce, and marigolds (good for companion planting)

 Planting is the gratifying part of making a new garden. But first, hard work is needed.

Onion weed has taken advantage of my absence and decided that the garden belongs to it.

There are a few nice surprises as well; what I call ‘accidental plants’:  celery that self-seeded from the year before, 

 and potatoes, which were hiding in the earth even though I never planted them.

At last the ground is clear, and the tomato plants are popped into the soil. Deep below their roots is a little cluster of sheep pellets waiting to feed the growing plant.
I’m aching all over and will feel it even more the next morning, but how satisfying it is to plant hope once more!


  1. Cottage Tails

    Oh wow look at your celery – something I just have so much trouble growing. A good feeling after spending day in the garden working isn’t it.
    Love Leanne

  2. juliet

    Leanne, nice to see you here. The celery tasted quite strong so might have been growing a bit too long. It sure is a good feeling working in the garden.

  3. Hotly Spiced

    I need to learn more about companion planting. I always love it when I go out to my garden and find some things that have grown without any involvement from me. Your self-seeded potatoes and celery must have been a delightful surprise xx

  4. juliet

    Hi Charlie, companion planting is fun. Carrots love tomatoes, and that’s the title of one of my gardening books. It’s nice when plants just pop up. Thanks for visiting.

  5. Marja

    Oh that looks so good II think having your own vegie garden becomes more and more important. We also always have potatoes from last year coming up. Wish you a great harvest lateron

  6. Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Juliet – what lovely photos and explanation of your planting schedule – love seeing it. Your onion weed – looks like wild garlic to me .. we have it all over the place ..

    But what bounty you found … and so those new plants will give you some early crops .. love the celery and the potatoes … and what a great idea to put sheep pellets under your tomatoes – bet they are prolific …

    Gorgeous retreat area for you .. happy aching muscles! Cheers Hilary

  7. juliet

    Marja, it’s certainly satisfying, especially when last year’s plants pop up unexpectedly. Thank you.

  8. juliet

    Hilary, what a coincidence. I was just visiting you and leaving another comment at the exact moment that you were commenting on mine! The sheep pellets are the best organic manure I can get, since I don’t know anyone with spare chicken manure. It’s nice to get some plants in early. Thank you.

  9. Vicki Lane

    My husband always says Spring is when everything seems possible. I love your pictures of my favorite season — over here, we’re putting the garden to bed for its winter sleep…

  10. juliet

    Vicki, I like that saying of your husband’s: everything seems possible. Yes, it feels just like that. Thank you.

  11. Penny O'Neill

    What you call “accidental” plants, we call “volunteers”. They are always a surprise and a joy to discover. I usually let them be right where they are, Juliet, for a force far stronger than me will their survival, I think. What renewal and hope you bring forth which this posting. I hope you continue to enjoy getting dirt on your hands. We will be putting our vegetable garden to rest in the next week. It has sustained us so much this summer.

  12. juliet

    * Penny, ‘accidental plants’ is my own invention. ‘Volunteers’, now I like that. We’ve had a week of storms since the planting, so I’m hoping the plants have survived. Putting a garden to rest – I like the sound of that too. Thank you.

  13. Lynley

    What a bonus to find celery and mysterious potatoes.
    I used strong tasting celery from my neighbour’s garden in soups and casseroles as it was a bit tough to eat raw.
    How I long to get planting here but the cold, the wet and these ferocious storms have deterred me for weeks. August was such a benign, warm month by comparison.

  14. juliet

    Lynley, now that’s a good idea. I’ll use the celery in soup. I tried some raw but it was a bit strong. You are certainly getting the brunt of the bad weather where you are. Let’s hope it settles soon.

  15. Ruth P

    Exciting to see your veg plants (esp tomatoes) going into the earth Juliet! You are several weeks ahead of us down here in the south. I’m getting impatient to plant tomatoes and corn and zucchini but know from past lessons that we have to wait for the frosts to finish.

    Enjoy your spring!

  16. juliet

    Ruth, nice to see you! Well, the weather looked as if it was warming up that weekend, but I’m note sure how the plants are faring after all these storms. I’ll take a look this weekend. It must be hard waiting down in the south, but sounds like you’ve been caught before so patience is the key.


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