When I first ventured into vegetable gardening I was guided by books. Each step felt tenuous, like treading in the dark. My guide was a carefully drawn plan, each square foot measured, each seed accounted for. With time I relaxed. I learned that seeds grow and that I only need to provide water and shelter.
A few years have passed and now what joy! Borage, calendula, dill, sorrel and chives return on their own to resculpt the landscape. This spring, rabbits devoured the first shoots of sunflowers and greens…so I raised the height of the wire fence, used a large removeable barrel to block the entrance, and planted more seeds. I still make annual plans—plant families rotate from year to year and companions are placed side by side. Beyond my winter dreaming the real garden emerges in a flow of call and response.
I’m planting German chamomile seeds for the first time this year. The seeds are so tiny you can barely pinch them for sprinkling (I let them slide off a piece of paper). The dried flowers, alone or combined with other herbs, are steeped to make relaxing teas.