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Back in early March when snow still blanketed my garden, I planted poppies. Poppy seeds (yes, the same ones you see on bagels or dinner rolls) are tiny (see photo). And they need a blast of cold to germinate. So you sow them on the frozen ground or even on top of the snow. It's now four months later and my poppies are blooming: pink puffballs the size of my fist on stalks two feet tall. (see photo) Every year I'm amazed by how God packs the ingredients for such a flamboyant flower into a seed smaller than the head of a pin.

I also planted radishes and peas from seed, but not until May. Within a month, those tiny seeds became bright pink radishes peeking out of the dirt and fresh pea pods hanging from climbing vines ready for the salad bowl.

One of the most gratifying rewards of gardening is seeing things that you've planted as seeds begin to grow and bloom. Each seed has its own timetable, its own pattern of growth. And while you can plant, the final result requires a kind of letting go.

January/February
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