Make it Green: From around the world to our garden, simplified

As I write this, my wife is in Mumbai. Suzie will spend the month of October studying Iyengar Yoga with the Iyengar family in Pune, India.

I’ve been on this trip twice, both times as a student, once to attend medical class, and I have to say that it is just a heck of an experience.

For Suzie, this is her 11th trip. She’s a nationally recognized figure in her profession.

And while the trip is more or less routine, I have to say that when you are talking about India, “routine” takes on a more cryptic meaning.

Once you arrive in Mumbai, at about 9:30 p.m. local time, you still face a four-hour drive through the mountains to Pune. Even though you’ve slept on the plane, your body figures it’s about 8 a.m. and so you arrive jet-lagged and, at least in my case, very, very crabby. Last time I was there, all the old hands told me to stay up, go do some yoga — that was the only way to get over the jet lag, they warned.

I went right to bed.

An interesting note: If you were to drive a line from Naples, and through the center of the earth, you would emerge in daylight very near Pune. The time difference this time of year is 10.5 or 11.5 hours.

Of course, Suzie will bring back some very interesting seeds. I mentioned Bitter Gourd a few weeks ago. I have seeds remaining, but they are now two and three years old, so germination might be low. And I’ll use them, but who knows what will be added to the list?

So. You know how I always harp about making a plan before you start a gardening? Remember? Well, this goes for the veggie garden as well, and need not be complicated.

The thing about drawing is this: You only put in as much as you need the drawing to carry.

My garden plan is very rough. I’m publishing it because I want my readers to know what they need to do, and it is definitely not a complicated plan. It’s not even to scale, exactly. I drew it by approximating the overall shape of the space, just visually referencing different parts of the gardening space.

Then, I adjusted the size of things I had drawn by counting my foot steps. I’m blessed with 12-inch feet. You will notice that it’s messy and that I don’t have room to write all the plant names, and I have to use a key system in some places. So what?

The main thing is this: I have the approximate locations, and I have the planting dates. I know the varieties. I know if I have used seeds or starter plants. It’s a mess, I know, but it’s for my use, and I can read it.

And the same for you. As long as you can read it, you have all you need.

I want all of my readers to send me the garden sketches they have drawn so I can put them on the Web site. Anonymously, if you wish. Or not.

But let’s get some garden plans out there so people can see what to do. And send me photos of your gardens, too, and do it now before things start to grow. Nothing sweeter than a bare plot of earth turned into a huge productive garden, is there?

As usual, there’s more on the Web site. Go to www.msadesign.com and click on ‘Blog’ on the right side near the top. And keep those comments and emails coming. I respond to all of them.

E-mail Michael Spencer at ms@msadesign.com

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