Today was the day to plant corn in the garden.
I have never been very successful at corn planting here in New Home. At Old Home I had much less difficulty in getting a crop - perhaps it was not as much as a true corn grower would garner, but it was a large Ziploc bag of kernels for corn bread. Here, my luck has not been so good.
I have learned a few things, like soaking the seeds before planting and as much sun as I can find (which is odd in that here there is a lot of sun - it just does not help the vegetables at times). And still, every year, I try one more time to see what I can do.
Today I planted at the tail end of the area I had recently cleared. I soaked two kinds of corn (Aztec Blue and Painted Mountain corn, both supposedly drought tolerant and something we need in this climate). 40 kernels each. I got down on the ground and hand poked holes for the soaked kernels.
Being on the ground looking through at the soil close up lets you see lots of things. Crab grass that needs pulling out (That is going to be a lifetime project until I can face that area of the garden). Roly Polys working the way around the ground (roly polys, by the way, love dog poop. I have no idea why). A small colony of ants - not the fire ants that I abhor and will wipe out every chance I get but rather the happy sugar ants - building something on the edge of the garden.
My garden has also become seeded with volunteers. I am not sure what they are - most likely pumpkins or cantaloupes with a lone tomato plant - but they are rapidly moving into the established category. It is one of the joys of using one's own compost instead of purchasing it - you never know what you might find. In my theory of "If it is growing, let us see what it will do" I am keeping all of them where they are and just seeing what develops. Gardening, ultimately, is an adventure of the very best sort and sometimes the things we do not plan work out for the best.
Finally, armed with my seeds and my holes, Nighean Dhonn and I started planting. Drop a kernel in a hole, move to the next. We ran out of holes before kernels - no matter, just poke a few more holes and in they go. During this time, we got to talk about compost, roly polys, grass snakes, a small dead frog we found, the bushes where the rabbits like to hide the best, and shoo our white rabbit Snowball (who was out in the yard running around with us) away from where we were planting. All in all, a successful planting day.
I will water the garden in a bit - we had quite the downpour earlier today, but these newly planted seeds did not get the benefit of it - and wait. It is, of course, ultimately about waiting. I can plant and water and protect but in the end I will always be surprised - hopefully pleasantly - by what comes up.
That same theory seems to hold about life in general as well - an unexpected pleasant side effect of gardening.