my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother were incredible gardeners. they could grow anything their hearts desired and had years of experience getting their hands dirty in the soil. as a child i played in the giant fig trees in my grandmothers garden, picked strawberries under huge leaf canopies, cut fresh asparagus and okra for dinner, climbed the pear tree, learned to mow grass, pull weeds and water plants correctly, helped arrange the biggest bouquets of flowers from the garden for the sunday dinner table and watched them help neighbors by tending to their yards and gardens as their bodies became too old or sick to do the work. i owe a large part of my love of nature and desire to garden to them. when david and i bought our first house i was lucky enough to get several years of advice from them during each season before they passed away. it was an invaluable time in my life and i will be forever grateful.
during the last few weeks as spring has begun to sprout a little more each day i find myself daydreaming of those days in the garden with them. spring is one of my favorite times in the garden as we discover what survived the winter and seeing the leaves first pop up from the soil is the best, especially when something new appears from the wind or birds dispersing seeds. my garden planning has begun to take a different twist as i learn about gardening by the moon which my grandmother strictly followed. her faith in the farmers’ almanac was sometimes a joke to us as we heard her say ” the sign is the heart” or “i can’t play, the weeding must be finished today before the sign leaves the legs”. she always gardened by the sign and her conviction of the zodiac was unwavering. she did not break soil if the moon was not in the proper sign of the zodiac. i now find myself drawn to the phases of the moon and can’t help but dream of having bright blooms, juicy tomatoes, and less weeds by gardening with the astrological cycle.
*today is the full moon referred to as the full snow moon by native americans. the sign is in the bowels; perfect for clearing the ground, turning sod and killing plant pest.