Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer gardening

In addition to running, drinking coffee, and laughs with friends, gardening rates right up there on my "Do it. It's good for the soul." list.

Last year's gardening aspirations were completely hijacked by a spur of the moment hernia surgery. No sooner had an entire dump truck load of mulch been deposited in my driveway, I was officially given word that I'd be out of commission for another three months. So, this year I'm making up for lost time.

Instead of plugging brightly colored summer flowers into my patio containers, I opted for herbs this year. Why not? I love making homemade basil pesto, or my friend Suzanne's parsley-parmesan pesto that spreads so nicely on crackers. And, it's so convenient to have the mint needed for those summer mojitos right on the patio, where they'll be consumed.

For years it has been my dream to create an English cottage garden, or some version of one, in my backyard. In many a long-winded meeting my mind would wonder off to my imaginary garden, in which I'd elongate the bed that ran the length of the patio all the way to the end of the backyard and infuse the sun dappled space with an array of colorful flowers and plants. I saved flower catalogs, clipped photos of all the perennials that I liked, and stowed them away safely in a file. I spent hours and hours in the evenings studying the names of the plants, their likes and dislikes of sun and soil, and the zones in which they flourish. Three years later, what do I have? A fat folder with lots of photos and plant information and a neglected flower bed. This is the year that I'm actually going to move toward making my garden come to life.

And this is the reason that I will probably only get part of the way through my big plan this year.

"There's no crying in baseball!" Think Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own.

Actually, Jonas loves being in the backyard. He's just now discovering the thrill of pulling up grass. He grabs fistfuls of mulch and "redistributes" it elsewhere, more on the patio than in the flower beds.

He pilfers my tools (a tiny plastic spade and my shovel) and walks off (or attempts to) with them.

Everything is new and so exciting.

He also likes going shopping with Mommy for new plants. This past weekend we bought a pincushion flower, shasta daisies, sedum, columbine, and a tomato plant for a container. Unlike his father, Jonas has much more patience for walking the aisles fourteen times to get just the right combination of flowers. Maybe next time it'll be coral bells, bleeding hearts, and border roses. We'll have to wait and see. See Jonas, there is mystery and surprise in gardening! Well, sort of.

If you check back in a month or so, I'll continue to post photos documenting my garden's progress. Knowing that I've committed to this--publicly-- will motivate me all the more to make it happen!

This was taken moments before Jonas let me know in no uncertain terms that he was done gardening for the day.

He had been toting around the watering can all afternoon. It was so cute. I missed taking a photo of him watering his own behind and shoe, and the shots that I did get of him "watering" the dirt didn't turn out. Next time.

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