Excitement in planning a new year

Published 6:34 am Monday, November 23, 2015

Looking back on the beauty of the July gardens. - Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Looking back on the beauty of the July gardens. – Carol Hegel Lang/Albert Lea Tribune

Serendipity Gardens by Carol Hegel Lang

When I came across this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson I knew just what this column would be written about:

“For flowers that bloom about our feet; for tender grass, so fresh, so sweet; for song of bird, and hum of bee; for all things fair we hear or see, Father in heaven, we thank Thee!”

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I couldn’t have written it any better than this quote. It sure felt like my feelings for the bountiful gardens He blessed me with this year. I often sit back and think about the beauty that abounded in the gardens and the produce my tiny vegetable, fruit and herb gardens provided me with.

Carol Hegel Lang

Carol Hegel Lang

As we celebrate the day of Thanksgiving with friends and family, it humbles me to think of how very fortunate we who live in the United States should be. To remember our forefathers and the struggles they endured to call this land their home, and to know that we have freedoms that many countries will never have. The food on our tables has been provided by the farmers who toil to plant, maintain and then harvest their crops in all kinds of weather. The freedom to worship where I choose and with whom I choose. And knowing that I can plant a garden and don’t have to even think about asking permission to plant on my property is something I don’t take for granted.

This year, the gardens seemed to be happy as they flourished in the sunshine and rain. They put on a spectacular show for me, with only a few glitches along the way.

Every day I learn something new about tending these precious flowers, trees and shrubs and I am sure that next year I will continue my gardening education. No matter how long you have gardened, you will always find new and better ways of caring for your gardens. It has been many years since I planted that first geranium with anticipation of how it would grow and bloom.

Every new gardening season, I feel like this is my first garden and the suspense of how it will fare sometimes can be really overwhelming for me. You see, I consider myself a novice gardener when I compare myself to the likes of Tasha Tudor, Beatrix Potter or Celia Thaxter. This threesome is what I consider the elite of gardeners.

With another gardening year behind me and a photo album full of pictures of them, it is time for me to take a long, hard look at the gardens and think about what flower combinations I want in planters and what annual seeds I need to order to plant the gardens in May. My first new seed catalog arrived the other day and it is brimming with information on plants that I might want to consider adding to the gardens. In the middle of winter, when the stack is high, I make out the wish list from these catalogs. It is then I will remember how wonderful the gardens were this past year. My heart will rejoice as I remember certain flowers and how lovely they were and the many people who toured the gardens this past season. I am thankful for the many new friends I have made in the gardens over the past years and the flowers they have shared with me.

Another year has almost passed us, and I look forward to a new season of gardening and the excitement it provides.

What will the bird migration be like this coming year after we had a very lackluster spring in 2015? My cupboard is filled with jars of grape jelly that didn’t get eaten by those early spring visitors as they headed north. The hummingbirds were a constant in the gardens from May through October, adding so much to the enjoyment of bird watching in the gardens. You see, the gardens aren’t just about flowers for me, but rather they are a part of the whole picture that includes birds, bees, butterflies and insects, as well as little critters that visit them.

What will the garden theme be for this year with a color scheme? I haven’t even thought about it yet. The anticipation of the gardens can be as rewarding as the gardens themselves. Sometimes I feel like a child anxiously awaiting Christmas and the gifts they will receive under the tree.

“For each new morning with its light, for rest and shelter of the night, for health and food, for love and friends, for everything Thy goodness sends.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson


Carol Hegel Lang is a green thumb residing in Albert Lea. Her column appears weekly. Email her at carolhegellang@gmail.com.