My first year planting a garden I had a lot of carrots and it was very amusing. I didn’t thin enough when the seedlings emerged which resulted in carrots that looked more like living creatures rather than vegetables.

Last year, I wrote about my excitement with starting a garden and of my anticipation to plant.

In the time in between that post and now, there was reality. And the reality is there were some successes, and there were some failures.

Some of the plants I was most excited were going to be harvested and made into various types of kimchi later in the fall. But the cabbage was destroyed by pests and the radishes were in too shallow of soil. Still, other plants took root and burst with abundance.

First, successes:

  • I had no idea what I was doing and had to research a lot. I found out that I love researching about how to plant and where to plant, etc
  • Lettuce
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Snap peas
  • Green beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Korean melons
  • Cucumbers
  • Cantaloupe
  • Zucchini

Second, failures (side note: It’s hard to call things failures when they were just learning experiences. Alas, things failed to grow, so they are, in fact, failures.):

  • Korean radishes
  • Asian cabbage
  • Green Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Watermelon
  • Pumpkins
  • Onions
  • Squash

For the failures, we were already evaluating why and how and what to do better next time the moment we realized something was wrong.

Coming from times where I have been overwhelmed with perfectionism, it was a good practice of letting go of the things I couldn’t control. I researched, planted, watered, waited, and waited. And waited.

And in the end, some of the plants were in soil that didn’t allow them to grow.

The garden made for a great excuse to drive down to my childhood house to work and play a game of cards afterward. Living in a townhouse, we don’t have enough space or light on our patio to grow anything of significance, so my dad and I joined efforts to grow a vegetable garden on their land.

Reflecting on the reality of last summer, I look forward with anticipation for the next chapter of gardening.

Nephews snapping crisp peas
off the vine, still with a leaf,

playing tug-of-war with carrots and beets,
nieces helping to water, oh so carefully,

Some dirt washed off,
A little more scrubbed,
With still a little on,
Bringing with it flavor and happiness,

Waiting, and watering,
and waiting some more,
For the not yet
But just now new life to grow.

So, I’m sitting here with freshly fallen snow behind me, dreaming of what’s to come for this summer, and grateful for the memories from the before.