Why do I feel so good?
I don't believe I've ever come out of the garden feeling worse. In fact, I think I can safely say that 99% of the time, I walk out of the garden feeling much, much better. It's true that my back might ache, the bugs can be vexing, and the work can be totally exhausting. What I mean is this: if I'm feeling anxious or ungrounded, spending even just an hour in the garden can fix that pretty much immediately. (Check out this great article about Why Gardening Makes You Happy and Cures Depression.) And after a long, cold winter, being in the dirt is exactly what I need. I never realize it when it has me in it's clutches, but I get into a stone cold funk starting about February. This year it was longer and deeper because our winter was longer and colder. But now, although it's still chilly and tempestuous, warm one hour, cold the next (no one really described April better than T.S. Eliot), it's still spring, and I'm out there in the dirt. Feeling much better, thank you.
Yesterday, I spent a good while starting asparagus beds. I made trenches five inches deep (digging deeper reduces yields, or so I've read) and topped with two inches of soil and compost, to be hilled up as the asparagus grow. I'm not a huge fan of asparagus, otherwise I would have planted them five years ago when we moved in. I am, however, a huge fan of my husband, who loves asparagus. So, I finally broke down and planted 16 Purple Passion asparagus plants. Not that digging is awful, but because digging on my particular soil is awful. I have the rockiest soil imaginable. I do believe unearthed a small quarry from my garden beds. Halfway through digging the deep trenches I started chanting: I will never have to do this again, I will never have to do this again. Because I won't. The asparagus will be fruitful for upwards of 25 years. And if they die? I'm not doing it again!
The perennial garden.