I’ve dug up our lawn in a strip along the sidewalk leading up to the front door. Why? It’s my experiment to do a seasonal cutting garden propagated only from seed. For you see, I habitually harvest my own seeds each year: cosmos, larkspur, poppy, bachelor button, and globe amaranth. In addition, I supplement with mail order zinnia seeds.

I started this venture way back in January before the virus pandemic crept into our communities. I began by digging up the grass in pallets and transplanting it to thinner spots around the yard. Secondly, I amended the soil with my own home-brew compost as well as bags of cotton burr. By February, I was ready to sow my first wave of seeds including larkspur, bachelor button, and poppy since they needed to be in the ground asap in anticipation of a spring show. When these first blooms play out by the heat of May, I will pull them up, harvest their seed pods, and plant the summer seeds of zinnia, cosmos, and globe amaranth.

I realized today, as March rolled into April and we are smothered by this pandemic quarantine time, that this little experimental strip has become my hope garden. I hope that we survive this scourge and can enjoy the upcoming summer blooms. I hope that this path leading up to our bright red front door will again welcome guests. I hope that our grandchildren can again delight in running their hands through the scented border as they race up to us for hugs. I hope that I will have so many blooms, that every guest who pops by can leave embracing their own take-home bouquet.

What hope is sustaining you this season?

Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.

Allen Armitage, professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia, USA

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