Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Let There Be Gardening

I take a break from this oppressive book proposal writing - damn you, sample chapters - to just say that things are starting to grow around here.

There is gardening, something new to the Foster family, but now that we also have this country life to add to our city life, we have large expanses of dirt and ground and gardens that will not flower and bring forth life, unless we give them some of our attention.

David and I were tilling (it's strange to even write that word in the same sentence as our names) the flower beds and I had this epiphany and looked up at him and said, "Gardening is hard work," as if I had said something completely new and original. He shook his head and went back to turning up the soil. I am, it seems, Captain Obvious.

Truth is, the whole family is enjoying this gardening thing. I didn't marry a handy man, but I'll be damned if David has turned into a hotter version of Bob Villas, with his swarthy tool belt and destroying things with chain saws. And me, well, I used to pity people who worked in the dirt, I lamented that they always had soil in their nail beds and bugs in their hair, now, I'm having lengthy Twitter conversations with Mrs. Wheelbarrow about the pros and cons of ornamental grasses and whether I should ask David to buy me a Weeping Higan Cherry Tree for Mother's Day...

What happened to jewelery? Who am I?

The kids love gardening, too. Especially Lucy. She has this long attention span and ability to focus on one thing for a long time and planting the seeds in neat rows was right up her alley. Also, gardening offers all the right elements - opportunity to get dirty, opportunity to play in dirt, opportunity to play in dirt and get dirty and add water. Drowning the plants in water with the big over-filled watering can is our favorite pastime.

We started small, with the idea of a container garden, growing the seedlings for flowers and vegetables in our green house first and then, later hoping to transplant them into containers. But now, the gardening bug has taken us over, our beans and peas are shooting out of their trays and we see urban farming as our path. Sigh.

Even David is plotting the outdoor garden space and saying things like, "Do you think it's possible we'll be able to grow all our own vegetables this summer?" and I hear myself say back, "Yeah, I think so, I think with the greenhouse, we can have an all year round garden, rotating in and out hot and cold weather vegetables..." and then I start talking about canning and how much tomato sauce I can put up for the winter. And then, I just have no idea who I am anymore, although she sounds a lot like Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother, and I sort of sit quietly and hope the strange voices stop talking to me.

But weirdly, I can't wait to get back to the country and check on my peas. I should've staked them last week and now, I'm worried about them, worried I might find them toppled over and failing. I am secretly considering pulling Lucy out of school so we can get back up there and check on them. Right now, I am holding back the desire to write a whole paragraph about my peas. This is truly pathetic.

xo YM



SaintTigerlily said...

Ahhhh yes. This was me two summers ago but with far less land and no greenhouse, so I can't even imagine how bad I would have come down with gardening fever if I had been gifted with those two. Enjoy!

Some things I've learned:

Don't go too crazy on zucchini, they will take over your house, if they grow at all (the last few years have been bad for squash, evidently).

You can never EVER plant too many tomatoes.

And, most importantly, share the love with your friends and neighbors.

(Um...we count as neighbors, right?)

Kate said...

No, no, no...... this is beautiful. It truly is. May you have many green gardens and children full of fresh air, dirt, good food and happy smiles.

Gardening. It's such a beautiful word.

(pssst... I moved to a lovely new blog home. Have you stopped for a visit?? Update your links!)

Christine said...

I have a container garden going, and man, all I can do is wholeheartedly recommend scarlet runner beans. I started some in a peat pot two weeks ago, and damned if one of them isn't already a foot long. Insanity. Also, time to move them into the bigger pots. Oh and the tuscan (lacinato) kale is also thriving.

Jarring sauce is easy! We used to do it every year with my mother, and jar enough to last us one full year. We would never have enough tomatoes for this, but would use our garden basil, any tomatoes that weren't eaten straight away, and at least two bushels from a farmstand. Great memories.

Good luck! Sounds like a blast.

Unplanned Cooking said...

So sweet! We planted indoors with our kids in March. Was so fun to watch the plants sprout up. Then we went on vacation and - well, let's just say will need to start over after the last freeze.

Cali said...

*sigh* i wish i had a balconey or porch... i would love to do this with the kidlets!

Cheryl Arkison said...

Not pathetic, awesome! There is your next book. The Virgin Gardener.

PS Thanks the the great message the other day! Made my day, truly.

Warner (aka ntsc) said...

Beware deer and woodchucks.

One year we got a hundred pounds of tomatoes out of a Brooklyn brownstone backyard. Before she met me, my wife claimed she had a brown thumb, but upon discovery that I had a back yard turned into a gardener.

We have eaten salads grown on our deck already this year.

brian said...

gardening is always fun for kids.
they can help plant the seeds, and be excited when veggies start growing.

Mommy Lisa said...


I nominated you at the link above.

My husband has loved every one of the recipes you had out here that I have made.

rita said...

So you've discovered gardening! I didn't realize you had a greenhouse on your new property - so lucky. I like gardening too, but since the pool takes up most of my backyard, I'm kind of limited to flowers. I'm wondering if anyone has any luck with the potted veggies (ie) vine tomatoes. They look great on TV, but who knows? Too bad our growing season is so short though.

The Yummy Mummy said...

Mommy Lisa -

I tried to post a comment on your site but Blogger wouldn't let me. So here is what I wrote you...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for nominating me for that Babble List. I know it sounds crazy, but I was starting to feel a little irrelevant and then, you did that nice thing and that made my day.

These things shouldn't matter, and I guess they really don't, but when someone says something nice about your work, well, that's frosting on the cake, isn't it?

Wish I could join you for Bloggers Night Out! So fun!

Thanks again. Your support means a lot.


There. That's what I said. And I meant it.

Karen said...

All of our veggies are in the ground and flowering already (we're in the south).

One of our friends never staked his cucumbers. It drove me crazy. He never had a problem and had more cucs than he knew what to do with. If I did that mine would rot.

I love looking at your photos. Your babies are beautiful. Kids and dirt - it really doesn't get much better than that.

Anonymous said...

I love these pics! Lucy is so sweet! Great pics!