Heather Earnhardt


Of all things living I'd be a sweet potato, fresh dug up.

Things grow in the red dirt of the south. Really grow. Huge dahlia's, two heads over mine, heavy tomatoes fat and ruby red, long thick fingers of burgundy okra, yellow ochre peaches tasting of dark brown sugar, medallions of yellow-green butter beans…all of it, grows. So every year here in seattle I sneak in a little something from my childhood gardens…I don't tell anyone, they would only discourage. i tuck a little okra in between the hop vines or a little row of butter beans next to the patty pan squash and see what happens. Sometimes nothing, most times in fact. But some times it grows. Loose the fear. Break the rules. because 'there are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds'.

I don't like rules in general, especially for gardening. i love to throw seeds in, crowding them, mixing them, imagining them coming up, willing them toward the soft light. as massanobu fukuoka says in his book one straw revolution, "When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings." to think outside the rules on that seed packet. go with your gut, listen to what your garden space is telling you. this is what gardening is to me. a handful of purple cornflowers there, some fat sugar snap peas there...and over there some lupines! yes, lupines. ms. rhumphius style. I buy them in ten pound increments, opened bags kept in the car, coat pockets...throwing a handful here, another handful there. Dotting the landscape for my drive home, lupines growing in the abandoned lot, a stretch of weedy grass, they rise tall and defiant, willing themselves to make it. making this place of ours a wee bit more lovely. for all of us.


© 2012 Heather L. Earnhardt ~ heather@heatherearnhardt.com ~ heatherearnhardt.tumblr.com