Yesterday I went out into the garden first thing and fed and deadheaded and trimmed and harvested and pulled seedlings and rearranged and swept for several hours. One of the most delightful things about planting decoratively with herbs and greens is that trimming and pulling things back transforms directly into meals and gifts for neighbors and friends. My visitor to the garden walked away with bunches of oregano, lemon balm, and mint and lemon balm with roots to plant in her own garden. We drank a cool lemon-mint infusion (mixture of spearmint, peppermint, lemon balm, and lemon verbena) and ate a few strawberries (some from the garden, some from the farmers’ market). Later in the day, my lunch included a salad with lettuce, radishes, baby spinach and chard, spring onions, and various herbs. For dinner, I used chard, beets, and green onions to make a stew of chickpeas and greens.
With today’s rain, everything will keep flourishing, and I’ll be out there doing the same later in the week. My morning visitor and I agreed that one of the great delights of gardening is that the garden always welcomes more attention. The garden never asks to be left alone; it drinks in whatever attention and nourishment we are able to offer and returns it with grace. There are few things that both are comfortable with steady attention and fully nurture us the more attention we give. I find that meditation, too, always gives and receives graciously steady attention, which is one of its great gifts and joys.