My Little Victory Garden: Gillyflowers and the Circle of Food-Life

I stood over the sink during the second wash. Most of the dirt was already down the drain and I was now searching for dried sections on the onion shoots. I had just pulled about forty green onions from My Little Victory Garden so Mick could help me get the dirt ready for early Spring planting.
Here is what a clean, fresh palette looks like to a garden artist. Wow...imagine the possibilities!
I continued to clean the lettuce that had grown over the winter, but it was rough, tough and not really great to eat. I decided to give the deer a treat so I washed it up a bit and left it over the back fence for them to find tonight.

About 1.5 gallons of spinach was the last of the Winter harvest. I treated the small leaves kindly. They were crisp and responded to my kitchen shears as if they had been to vegetable etiquette school. Well done, spinach...we're eating you today!
After I finished cleaning the onions, spinach and helping the deer with a lettuce dinner, I packaged the onions for my daughters who were coming over for dinner tonight. But not before I tried the blackberry dessert I'd just made. For the record, it passed with an A-.
There they are: one for Rachel, one for Rylee and one for Mick and I!
It was fifty degrees outside with zero wind. Mick had just tilled the garden so I got to visit my secret drawer. I stood on my tiptoes in the garage, pulled down this container and my knee protector and headed outside!
The first package I pulled out of the drawer is my favorite. It's almost time to plant it, but not quite. I've had these seeds for two years. I purchased them at Blenheim Palace because the package was so irresistible. I mean, can you get any more English Country Garden poetic than "Clove Gillyflower?" I think they're carnations, but the language on the package was so dreamy to me and the notion of making jelly with their petals...yes! I closed my eyes and imagine tea, scones, fresh butter and Gillyflower jelly. And I stood there for just a little while to savor the thought.
Okay, what do we have here? Cabbage, lettuce, green onion, dill and rainbow Swiss chard. Oh bummer...no spinach. I have no idea why I have a packet of cabbage and green onion seeds. I always buy onion bulbs or sets, and cabbage plants. Okay - what the heck, I'll use them and see what happens.
These are my favorite early Spring harvest - the Swiss chard. Sauteed with green onions, raisins and balsamic? I could eat that dish every single day.
The empty, crumpled seed packets went into the compost.
I knelt down to look at my dirt. I saw a tiny thread of garlic root I had pulled earlier that day. Even after all the tilling it was resting on top of the soil...ready to give up what it had to go back into the seeds I just planted. That tiny, white root was my reminder that the circle of food-life was alive and well.

As I turned to go inside and begin dinner, I decided to look at my new garden-to-be one more time.  Laying flat on top of the wall was something needing attention!  I ran back and picked it up, looked around for the right spot, and sunk the prongs into the soft earth.  There…NOW the garden can Begin!

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6 thoughts on “My Little Victory Garden: Gillyflowers and the Circle of Food-Life”

  1. I absolutely LOVE your photos. I could almost smell the dirt, it’s so inviting. I can’t wait to figure out how to put a garden of any kind in my yards. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Hi, Molly Jo –

      Well, we’re even because I absolutely LOVE your hat and scarf shot on your Gravatar! So perfectly earthy and cool…Thanks for stopping by… RDK

  2. EGAD. That dark, soft looking soil… the most beautiful blank canvas in the WORLD! Do you know how lucky I feel to catch your little victory garden at its onset this year? Gorgeous post, RDK, congrats on such a lovely edible punctuation and for composting your paper seed packets! See you soon!!

    1. Sweet Marie – yeah, it took three years to get the soil to that stage. It’s softer now, and doesn’t require much more than annual tilling. I’ll still continue to compost annually, but feel like I’ve finally built up some micro-organismal layers that are helpful to the plants! I’ll see YOU soon too! ~ RDK

    1. Hi, Debbi –

      I checked out your blog and, yes indeed!, that snow is piled high! But what a great pre-garden treatment for your soil, eh?

      Stay Warm!

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