Each December I take pleasure in searching the garden for treasures left behind from the fall harvest. Hidden under the brown stalks, leaves, vines, and soil are the makings for a few more feasts. Low lying leaf lettuce and spinach greens will make a succulent salad. Cabbage will complement corned beef. Deep buried carrots and potatoes will be the foundation for a savory stew. Marisa’s recipe (August 18) will render Brussels sprouts and onions into a tasty side dish.
Today I put my garden to bed for the winter, I mowed down stalks and vines, pulled up and stacked cages and row stakes, and cleaned off the trellises. I mulched the berries, added to the compost pile, and stored the shovels, hoes, and rakes.
As winter sets in, I bask in the pleasant memories of the past summer’s garden before they blur into the collage of memories of gardens past. New this year was our army of sunflowers, a hedgerow of soldiers standing at attention, greeting us each morning with cheery yellow faces. We planted and cultivated strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries anticipating the sweet fruit to garnish our breads, rolls, muffins, pastries, pies, and ice cream for years to come. A garden border of chrysanthemums propagated from cuttings this year will yield a rainbow of color next fall. My biggest garden adventure of the summer was embarking on my volunteer career as a University of Maryland Extension master gardener to improve my own garden, but more importantly to help others improve theirs.
Tonight I will ask Heavenly Father in my evening prayers to bless us with snow, a sparkling white sheet to cover Antietam Glen until purple and yellow crocuses burst forth next spring.