June 9, 2013

Little garden a rite of spring


Nowadays, there are no children left in the nest. Our six-bedroom 19th century Morrisonville home is now more full of what Kaye calls my collected “stuff” than kids. As a matter of fact, we still have closets packed with things our grown offspring left behind. Hint. Hint.

The garden has been reduced to what I lovingly refer to as my “crop strip,” running along the fence that separates our Little space from that of the adjacent fire station. I must constantly remind myself to be humble, and toward that end, I went out and purchased a brand new wide-tined spading fork. I once had a nice one, but it was probably borrowed by a relative or friend and found a new home.

I dug the sods and shook them out, using an antique cultivator to break up the earth. I have managed to keep most of my mom’s old gardening tools and am proud to use all of them every year. My old hoe is worn down from more than a century of use, and I’ve replaced the handles on the old rakes. 

Besides crockery shards, I dug up half an ancient horseshoe, a large piece of unidentifiable forged iron and various cut nails.

Yes, Mom, I waited until June 1 to plant my tiny garden this year. No peas, please. But we do have tomato plants, cucumbers, peppers, carrots and green and yellow wax beans. There is still room for a few onion sets or perhaps some squash.

My mother always said to plant three times what we need — one for the birds, one for the neighbors, and one for us. I’ve always told the firefighters next door they can have everything that grows through the fence.

Speaking of a fence, I installed one around the crop strip to help keep the river bank critters out. Kaye wanted one tomato plant next to her flower garden and, with my little fence, it looks a lot like a grave site.

Let’s all sing along with the late Rick Nelson’s “Garden Party."

Have a great, green day and please, drive carefully.

Gordie Little was for many years a well-known radio personality in the North Country and now hosts the “Our Little Corner” television program for Home Town Cable. Anyone with comments for him may send them to the newspaper or email him at

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