I plant seeds on a cold February day, imagining a garden some months in the future. I pinch the tiny seeds out of their packets, some no bigger than a flake of black pepper, carefully pushing them beneath the soil in the miniature peat pots. I water them “generously,” as the Farmers Almanac suggests, then cover them with plastic and sit them on the desk where the afternoon sun pours in.

Seeds become seedlings, which become plants that produce tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers, I imagine. My mouth waters just thinking about it, and I urge the seeds to germinate. But it’s only the first day, and I know I have to wait. Day after day I rotate the covered plastic box from the fireplace hearth, where they rest overnight, to the front of my desk, where the sun can do its thing. Day after day for more than a week, but still no seedlings.

I feel myself losing hope. Gardening should be in my blood with all the growing and producing my parents have done over the years. But it’s never been that easy for me. Plants don’t shoot up as big or develop as much fruit as my parents’ always did. Maybe this is the year to say I’m not really a gardener.


Originally published at Redbud Post on April 1, 2019. Photo by Joshua Lanzarini on Unsplash.