To my surprise, the seeds I planted last Saturday began sprouting this morning! I’ve gotten a late start on my garden and had a good bit of cleanup to do, and even had older seeds; I wasn’t even sure they’d sprout. But I turned the soil and added compost and grass clippings and turned other plants under, raked and smoothed the soil, and planted two different kinds of green beans and two different kinds of yellow beans, peas, corn and a variety of other plants and seeds.
I watered deeply on Sunday, but this week was long and excessively hot; I watered deeply again on Wednesday and wandered the garden early each morning but not really hoping to see a sprout in less than seven days, likely ten days. Usually, the seeds will wait for a nourishing rain, but the moon and sun must have been in the right places because the first beans must have sprouted with the sunrise—by the time I got out there just a short time after that a half dozen were up in one variety and the soil was lifted and split open in other places.
So of course I had to keep wandering outside to check and see how many more; two of the beds had shown no sign of sprouting but by later in the day they were up, as you see in these photos. We had a nice soft rain later in the morning, then a sunny afternoon and later I noticed a few other things were sprouting as well.
I practically watched the bean seen above split open this morning. Still covered with the soil of its birth, standing tall and leaning toward the source of its nourishment, the sun, the seed is slightly split and inside are the furled leaves, ready to begin the true process of its growth. What a glorious event, the beginning of life, even if it’s only a green bean plant.
And these aren’t only ornamentals, these are, in part, my sustenance, my fall crop of green beans that will grow up to the first frost, the ones I’ll blanch and put in the freezer to eat through winter, or add to soups, or pickle for snacks. I love these beans from their first moment, and treasure this little relationship with my food; the more I love and nourish it, the more it will love and nourish me.
The bean seeds put on a wonderful show when they sprout: first one lone bean pushes a curve of a stem up through the soil much earlier than everyone else, then a day or two later the soil begins to erupt, bumps and ridges forming and growing, and through that day and the next and the next the beans push aside the soil, split their seeds, stand up tall and eager, reaching for the sun. I’ve always wanted to get a time-lapse camera just to be able to photograph the progress.
All the parts of tending a garden a full of images and enjoyment, and watching seeds sprout, or plants grow and flower, has always been such a source of wonder to me. This is my cathedral, where I’ve always found my creator.
The bean seeds were so inspiring; please enjoy the slideshow below.