Loving the Smell of Dirt

I admit it. I love the smell of freshly-turned dirt. I love getting out in my yard and digging around in my gardens.

Every year, nature amazes me anew. Short, cold and gray days slowly give way to longer, warmer, sunnier days. Every year, just when I think I can hardly stand the winter for one more day, I see a crocus breaking through the dirt, the leaves of tulips and daffodils fighting their way towards the sunlight.

Every year, I plant some seeds and a small miracle occurs – they grow and blossom into gorgeous flowers, delicious vegetables, fragrant herbs.

Admittedly, there are times a seed never sprouts and I end up sorely disappointed. Planting, watering, waiting, watering, waiting…and nothing. Sigh.

But for the most part, I’m in awe of nature and the beauty it bestows on us each year.

I was editing some photos and came across some flower garden shots of mine from last year:

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So yes, crazy as it seems to some, (though I know my gardening friends will agree), I can’t wait to get outside and start digging around in the dirt.

31 thoughts on “Loving the Smell of Dirt

  1. Not crazy at ALL to me 🙂 I used to be afraid of dirt when I was small (and kind of still am) but when it comes to gardening, I LOVE dirt! I love the smell and the feel. There’s just something miraculous about new life and the smell of good black dirt! lol

  2. I think it is the thoughts of the beautiful flowers that greet us each year in the garden that get us through the winter. We have more snow headed our way so I enjoyed your lovely photos.

  3. I’m with you Lola. The smell of the dirt tells a lot about the condition of the soil and whether or not it will be nourishing to the plant and seeds. I share your garden feelings 110%. I will be taking some shot of my tomatoes and potatoes tomorrow…hopefully and post them.

    • Thanks Jerry – I’m always thrilled when other gardeners stop by! I’m so looking forward to fresh, homegrown veggies again. Can’t wait to see your photos!

  4. This does not sound crazy to me either as I have to agree it is satisfying to be in the garden preparing for the coming season even if at times we have to dodge the odd heavy down pour of rain…..The slideshow has worked a treat…..as the images are wonderful.

  5. Great post, Lesley, and one I can really relate to. It also comes at a much-needed time. We just got hammered by a foot of snow in central Vermont yesterday! Even the first crocus is a ways off around here, I’m afraid. So your post really helped me to look beyond the snowdrifts and ahead to spring. –Mike

    • Wow Mike – thank you very much! We’re still getting snow here in Northern Illinois too – may be getting a lot more this weekend. *sigh*! I’ve got your short story bookmarked and looking forward to a little quiet time when I can sit and enjoy it!

  6. Lesley, maybe you could help me here. I love flower gardens, and in my previous home I had 3 impressive ones. Then we moved (though only 4 miles away – to a better neighborhood). Even though were aren’t that far away from our previous home, the soil is drastically different. The 1st house had deep black soil where anything could grow.

    This house? The soil is like dusty dirt – with lots of rocks.

    I am a bit perturbed. A butterfly bush I planted this past May (that was glorious all summer) appears to have died. And a lavender plant along with it. I have NEVER had plants die on me.

    Also, we had all of the hideous 1960 shrubs removed from the front of the house so we can landscape – but now with the death of the butterfly bush and lavender plant, I am nervous about investing in new plants and bushes if they are only going to die like the other 2. (Note – after the hedges were removed in the fall, we mixed “moo doo” in the soil…

    Any ideas???

    • Well first off…bravo for removing the hideous 1960 shrubbery. (I used “shrubbery” there because it’s funny to me…Monty Python…never mind…) Anyway, I hate those old shrubs and always get a good laugh when I still see them around. And I do see them around. A lot.

      Secondly, I’m so sorry to hear about your butterfly bush but if you haven’t dug it up don’t give up on it yet. Or the lavender, for that matter. Make sure they’re not off to a slow start before you dig anything up. If the soil is bad, they may just be struggling. We planted some butterfly bushes just a few years ago, which was my first experience with them, and I’m in awe of their beauty. Hummingbirds love them, too, so I’m a huge fan. I transplanted part of one last year, so I could have one in the front of our house, and I’m still hoping it survives. I also have lavender, which I truly love.

      Anyway, compost is my best suggestion for your dirt, and lots of it. It sounds like it needs a lot of amending. You can buy soil testers and, of course, there are landscape companies that can test your soil, but by what you describe, you just need lots of compost and manure (MORE MOO DOO!) to enrich it. (there’s a lot of commas in that sentence for a reply to a writer.) You can also buy good black dirt from a nursery, which will help too.

      Also, once you amend the soil, use a natural mulch over your plantings; as the mulch breaks down, that will help enrich the soil too.

      I’m saying most of this from experience but my husband’s a landscaper so I think he’d back me up on all this. It may take a year or two but I think with some hard-earned money and some back-breaking “digging in” you’ll be happy.

      I hope this helps a little…can you tell I love gardening questions? Good luck!

  7. This was HUGELY helpful! Thank you! I snipped some of the branches (if that is what they are even called) on the Butterfly Bush and lavender and they weren’t green inside, which maked me think they were dead. But maybe you are right and they are just sluggish. I seem to remember the Butterfly Bush in my previous home didn’t bloom until August…

    • My butterfly bushes and lavender are both still pretty dormant here in Northern Illinois…I think it’s another good month, at least for us, that they start to look like anything at all! I definitely know the butterfly bushes don’t bloom until mid summer, so have faith!

      • Okay – thanks. I will! And I just realized something. Last winter was unseasonably warm so perhaps I am remembering the lavender from last winter, when things were blooming in March. Maybe I do need to be more patient.

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