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COLUMN: The bluebird returns to Groundhog Hill

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By Steve LaRue

Groundhog Hill – Greetings, friends, family, connections. The garden has been recently plowed and is ready for planting. Another season is upon us, and I don’t know about you, but I am excited.

Many thanks to my brother-in-law John Varney for his generosity and excellent tractor-work. Thanks to Johnny, the garden is now a blank canvas ready for a new season of creation.

Before creation may begin, inspiration must occur. I have been venturing out to the farm to just sit and stare, to think, makes some notes, to stare some more, and to wait for the Agricultural/Gardening Muse to strike. The mornings this past week have been pretty darn chilly, so I am happy to put Dogwood Winter in the rearview mirror.

For any newcomers to this column, I should probably re-state that Groundhog Hill is my “go crazy garden,” so I’m looking to avoid tradition and yet learn from it at the same time.

I want to incorporate an unusual design element in order to best display some pretty fantastic sunflowers, zinnias and marigolds. If my design is not somehow visible from the space station, I shall consider it a personal failure. Perhaps crop circles are in order.

Last year, I paid strict attention to the Eastern sun and laid out the garden accordingly, knowing that the sunflowers will face it no matter where they are planted.

This year, I am adding a new element: Peruvian Purple Corn. Yes, you read that correctly: Peruvian Purple Corn. More on that in the coming weeks as well as tentative dates for Peruvian Purple Corn-palooza. Have your calendars nearby so you can save the date.

At Groundhog Hill, it’s easy to get distracted by the gentle breezes, the birdsong, and the verdant landscape which surrounds it. The world is so green right now. I am filled with gratitude: Grateful to spend another summer in what my father calls “The Garden Spot of the Universe,” this place we call Home.

So far, I’ve not seen any of the quick-footed residents of Groundhog Hill, but I have spotted a bluebird in the garden which I take for an excellent omen that the time is right to begin again, to renew my commitment to another summer of tilling, planting, weed-pulling, weed-hacking, and harvesting.

On that note, let us collectively give thanks for another season, for one another, and for wondrous places throughout LaRue County such as Groundhog Hill.

More later ….

To see more photos of the garden, check out www.groundhoghill.wordpress.com.