Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

March 30, 2014

03/30/2014 — Lee Ward: Spring sprouts visions of gardening

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — I feel sure I’m just one of many about to pop with excitement about the change of seasons.

The snow accumulation wasn’t the greatest in my memory, but it was the most consistently cold and severely cold winter I recall. Long-term low temperatures and darkness depress and de-energize me and I’m sick of it.

While we’ve made it to spring, we still have a way to go before we hit pool weather, which is the goal for me. However, it’s been prime time for looking at seed books and past time for making some decisions about where which plant will take root.

As much as I enjoy looking at seed catalogs, I’m not known for being a gardener. For one thing, it’s too much like hard work. For another, I tend to kill plants, so why do all that hard work for nothing?

However, I do have experience planting and raising vegetable gardens with my grandmother, who was a farm girl. She loved getting her hands dirty and she knew how to plant and care for all kinds of plants. Although not as experienced, I learned a thing or two from her.

I like looking at seed catalogs because I enjoy looking at healthy, beautiful plants. As a watercolor painter, I get ideas for artwork. Besides, the colors are pretty.

I also like to be reminded that warm weather is coming and, even if I don’t grow any vegetables or flowers myself, I like to be reassured we’ll soon have flavorful produce at local farmers markets and colorful flowers blooming everywhere.

This year, though, I found myself looking at a seed catalog that had no photos in it. Why? I wondered.

Then, I realized I was shopping a seed catalog like a gardener would. I  read the descriptions of the ied the kind of soil and weather it needed. I sought  plants that would grow well in my soil and in the amount of light they would get and where I would position the plant. I thought  about what produce I really like and how available it would be this summer. Would it be even better if I grew it myself? Would it be worth the trouble? How readily available is it? What species would be fun or interesting or delicious?

Yes, I might be turning into a farmer.

Not really, but I might be turning into a gardener.

I’m going to take it slow, though. Maybe a couple of tomato plants this year.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.