My husband and I took a walk this afternoon to clear our heads after several hours of work, so we bundled up against the biting wind and plodded through the snow to get some fresh air. The landscape around us was a monochromatic palette of white, grey, black, and dark brown, with occasional blips of dark green conifer poking through the snow that covered its branches. I love the bleak beauty that wintertime has to offer, but after returning home and peeling off the fifteen layers of woollens and scarves, I sat down with a cup of tea to contemplate what would be planted in this year’s garden.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been given carte blanche with my in-laws’ garden this year, as they have a beautiful, sunny patch of land that’s just aching for attention. This south-facing glade is absolutely ideal for a little permaculture puttering, so I’m currently working on the planting grid that I’ll be implementing after the snow melts. Over the past several months, I’ve worked on building up a bank of heirloom organic seeds that I’ll finally have the chance to tap into, and I’ll be companion-planting my little heart out to ensure that everything pops up nicely.
Photo: Magura Transylvania
We have over 50 varieties of vegetable to play with, as well as herbs (both culinary and medicinal), grains (amaranth, millet, and quinoa to attract the birds) and flowers. I’ll be edging the garden with plants that attract bees and butterflies so there’s sure to be some hot pollination action, and my darling dad-in-law and I will be rigging up chicken wire covers to keep the wee critters out of our lettuce.
I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to being able to snip fresh greens for supper from this glorious garden of ours, or how incredible it’ll be to can our own tomatoes and cucumbers next autumn. Self-sufficiency is a rare and wondrous thing, and the outcome is as delicious as it is empowering.