Gardening in Almonte: The end of winter?

David

After record-breaking cold weather in April, there appears to be a glimmer of hope. Weather forecasts are now looking pretty rosy – as always it seems that our spring is such an incredibly short season as we go from snow to uncomfortable heat and humidity overnight.

By this point in the growing season I often have close to half of my vegetable plot planted with cold-tolerant vegetables such as peas, spinach, lettuce, parsnip and radishes – this year, nothing!  One indicator of how slow things are this year was the meeting of the Almonte and District Horticultural Society last Monday. The scheduled spring flower show attracted an extremely limited number of spring flowers that were brave enough to poke their heads through the snow.

The only real bright spot has been the Hoop House (an unheated green-house). Veggies planted in March have been growing relatively well. On Friday handfuls of radishes were ready to be pulled and enough greens were harvested for all participants to have a good feed.

The last few days have been a busy round of emails, phone conversations, and visits to garden centres and suppliers of soil and compost and equipment rental locations. This time of year it feels like community gardening is more about community and less about gardening. And I think that anyone that works in the community will admit that it is not always a ‘bed of roses’; sometimes people have different ideas, they don’t always communicate clearly, and sometimes conflicts arise.

So, how to keep a sense of perspective and keep it all in balance? One prescription for me is to reconnect with the soil and with growing things. I was lucky to find some really beautiful pansies in our local Ace garden centre. I hauled a couple of pots out of the shed, dumped in some well-rotted compost, dug my fingers into the redolent mix, carefully positioned the plants and firmed the soil around them. Peace!