Spring/Summer growing season 2010 was the first year since we’ve lived in this house with a yard that I did not do any gardening whatsoever. No planting, transplanting, dividing, or weeding. Nothing. To the extent that several of my weeds grew tall as trees. One grew in front of the house and blocked KF’s satellite dish, so I had to buy a scary-looking saw and cut the thing down. Last April I still had several more yarn lines than what I carry now, I was still calling on Whole Foods stores in Eastern PA and NJ, and I really had made no attempts to limit my traveling. Sometimes I would get home from a sales trip and just stay for one or two days before repacking and taking off again.
Not only was I tired, and probably not as effective as I could have been, but since everything was early last year, I didn’t notice the plants and flowers like I usually do. I remember, late in May, wondering when the purple iris was going to do its thing. I must have missed it. That sucks. I missed my husband and dog (and I guess cats too) because I was away so much, and I also missed the days where it was enough action just to sit on the deck, watch and listen to birds, and check out and appreciate my flowers. I did get some strawberries last year, and they were gorgeous and delicious.
Later in the summer, I discovered Twitter. Many of my real and virtual fibery (the yarn kind, not the nutritional kind) friends were eating fresh picked stuff for dinner and making it sound incredible, and the really cool people were spending whole days in their kitchens and canning, for gosh sakes. I found bad-ass pickle recipes online, and I was kind of embarrassed to have to buy the cukes at the farmer’s market. I didn’t like the feeling of regret I started to notice.
Now, I am not the greatest gardener. My mom is a Master Gardener and runs her own organic CSA. My deal is, I dig a hole or sprinkle some seeds and say good luck. I don’t water. I am always slack with weeding. So some of my plants don’t make it. But what I really like is to look around and see pretty sights in my surroundings. I like to get up in the morning and harvest strawberries or beans and figure out what to do with them, or bring them with me when I go see friends. I used to bring food and flowers into the office, when I went to an office. So I guess I was pretty into it. Many of the perennials were given to me by my mom, or my Aunt Fran (another great gardener) and I think both of them had plants that had started out in the ground at my two grandmother’s gardens. I scored some new iris from my friend Michelle this fall.
Some of the stuff was here when we moved in. there was only one planted bed then, now there are 5, plus some stuff squeezed into corners of the yard and a little bit in the front of the house. My neighbors do a lot of flowers, and some of those plants have crossed the property line. I like that.
The theme of 2011 for me is How Not to Work Too Much, even though my job is fun. One thing that I have discovered is that most of the things I like to do involve making stuff. I like doing craft projects. I like to cook. I like to garden. I like the process as well as the results. So this year I’m growing stuff, dammit. And I’m going to be home enough to take care of and enjoy my flowers and food crops. And I will try to blog about it, since in showing off my stuff, I will be “forced” to take time to notice it more. I may even dig a new bed.
I almost titled this post “City Mouse Plants a Garden,” because I have been thinking about City Mouse a lot this week, ever since we bought seeds and starter mix, and I am sprouting some things inside. So I googled the story and was surprised to see that it was an Aesop’s fable, not just one of my favorite groovy 70’s kids’ books, like Harry the Dirty Dog. I will keep thinking about the lesson of The City Mouse and the Country Mouse and how it can help me work on my theme for the year and enjoy myself more.
Today I noticed my violets.