After a long day in the office, spending some quality time in my vegetable garden always makes me happy. I love getting my hands dirty, smelling the plants, seeing the flowers, and eating the food I grow.
I have a vegetable garden. It’s a few minutes’ bike ride from my home, squeezed between a soccer field and the railway. It’s a pretty unspectacular bit of land but it’s one of my favorite places to be. Gardening is a great way to relax after spending all day in a stuffy office. It’s great seeing the seasons change. Sowing in spring, seeing those tiny seedlings grow into real plants. The first tender crops of lettuce, the surprise of finding young beets and spinach where last years’ crop has dropped its seeds by accident (and shoddy gardening…).
You’d say that the best season for a vegetable garden is summer. When the weather is good, you can almost see everything growing. Sure, you spend some time on your knees pulling weeds, but that’s not too bad. Being close to the ground lets you smell the warm earth and the plants. From up close, you notice how beautiful many vegetables are.
And, of course, there’s the food. Lettuce, zucchinis, carrots, potatoes, beans, beets, spinach… the list of lovely, fresh vegetables goes on and on. Everything tastes so much better when you’ve sown, grown, and harvested it yourself!
But really, I can enjoy my garden in every season. Now, the end of winter, is perhaps the hardest time but thanks to a really mild spell here in western Europe there is still a lot going on. I can still choose from half a dozen vegetables for my meals: curly kale, red cabbage, black cabbage, leeks, chard, bok choy, winter purslane…
Pretty soon it will be time to sow the first broad beans and turnip greens again. There’s not much to eat between March and April, but there are lots of things to do: digging, sowing, weeding. Who needs a fitness center when you’ve got a garden!
It’s not just all about the food, though. I also grow some flowers, just for the fun of it. This is the time of year when they’re in full bloom, and I just love to see them. The vegetables have very pretty flowers as well.
I really can’t imagine not having a vegetable garden anymore.