Editor’s note: Get Growing, written by the La Plata County Extension Office’s Master Gardener Program, runs during the growing season. It features timely tips for your garden and landscape.
By Darrin Parmenter
I took a walk last week – from my office at the La Plata County Fairgrounds to Needham Elementary School, through the Crestview neighborhood and then down to the Animas River Trail.
Yes, I need the exercise (Master gardeners bring the best snacks to class!), but it also afforded me an opportunity to see what was blooming in yards; what weeds were starting to pop along the river trail; and to check out two amazing spaces – the Durango Public Library Demonstration Garden and the Needham garden.
It’s a walk that should take no more than an hour, but when one stops every 20 feet or so to check out something new or unknown, well, let’s just say that not very many emails were answered that day.
But I will call it job training, or field work, or scouting of some sort. And when I got back to the desk, transcribed the notes I took on a piece of paper I found at Needham and uploaded the photos I took with my phone, I realized all of this – the greening of the lawns, the flowering pear trees, the brightness of the forsythia and all these spring bulbs bursting in color – is why we love to garden.
Yes, it’s work. The grass doesn’t stop growing, the weeds don’t politely remove themselves from the soil before they start to flower and the flower beds don’t magically mulch themselves.
We, as gardeners, strike that deal: We will help you, tender plants, but give us color, give us fragrances that remind us of some place long ago, give us food to share with neighbors and, perhaps most of all, give us that opportunity to smile. After a long day, or a hard week, allow me to sit on a park bench, or lay on your grass, and just let me soak it all in.
So as you all start this season – the one that competes with spring trips to the desert or the carpools to soccer games – remember to take the time to appreciate all the hard work that you (and Mother Nature) put into your environment.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6464. Darrin Parmenter is the director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.