Avid gardener Ellen Ecker Ogden, author of the book The Complete Kitchen Garden, reflects on the significance of green hues as a welcoming of the season ahead.
It’s a gardener’s spring ritual: waiting and watching for hints of green. Who knew that a color could hold so much promise and fill me with such a sense of hope. Like listening to music wafting through the air, shades of emerald and sage begin to layer through my garden and the surrounding Vermont hills. I notice how fresh, minty green buds give way to blooming leaves, and celadon spears of asparagus poke through the soil. Emerging plants move to a tempo all their own like a well synchronized orchestra.
Weeks ago, I went through the sacred processes symbolizing spring: cupping a handful of soil and inhaling as I put it to my nose. Healthy and organic, the mixture smelled sweet like chocolate cake and felt rich and crumbly in my palm. Preparing soil was only my first act before pushing and sowing seeds for peas and lettuce in long, straight rows. Within a week, tiny sprouts have given way to tendrils, and then so much more.
I garden in a lush valley between the Green Mountains and Taconic Range, where pine, pistachio and jade tones blanket the verdant landscape like a giant tapestry of color coming together to create a rich work of art. As I follow a well-worn path from the woods, freshly punctuated with lime-colored buds peeking through the ground, back to my own garden, I pause. A medley of green hues will soon emerge to mean one thing—spring is here.