I am sitting with my chair spun around, sunshine filtering through the window, as I stare at the newly formed buds on the maple tree just beyond the windowpane.
Spring has sprung.
With that, I have something of a confession. It’s a little dark secret about me only the closest people know (and anyone who drives past my house): I can’t garden. That might be an understatement. The hard-core truth is that I can’t keep a houseplant alive. I have no idea how to pot anything or plant anything or grow anything. At all…of any season, variety or origin. I have tried, in earnest, to keep a Christmas cactus going for 10 years now. I’ve gone through about 15 of them, to no avail.
I have a black thumb.
Yet, I keep trying. I try because I see the effects of gardening in the lives of people I love. My sister’s garden is her greatest solace. She goes there when she needs to reconnect, with nature or herself. She has spent the better part of 20 years developing, planning, re-planning and tending to her garden, and when I visit her home in the Pacific Northwest, I can feel the love and nurturing born from that attention.
I have seen plants brighten otherwise dreary spaces, breathe new life into tired seasons and cheer up countless people in moments of need. And it is not lost on me that the food I eat and the chain it depends upon all comes down to that murky subject I left behind in middle school: science. Terms like photosynthesis, chloroplast and xylem still float around my brain, reminding me there is more to the life around us than social media and a good cocktail.
This month, we’re digging into the power of pollinators and how we can all be good stewards of our precious land (p. 40), one woman’s mission to glean the food left behind when modern farming machinery has done its best (p. 46), garden varieties to nurture our plot creativity (p. 34) and the surprising wickedness of the wisteria I love to ogle (p. 52).
We’re also getting our fill of donuts and other assorted baked goods and quality company at Sherry’s Bakery in Dunn (p. 57) because there are never too many donuts or solid, heartfelt conversations to go around. Finally, in recognition of Memorial Day and all of the soldiers who have served and continue to serve in our military, we turn to the words of Walt Whitman in remembrance (pg. 64).
In the immortal words of Cicero, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”