Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Mother's Day

Dear Mom,
Traditionally, I spend my Mother's Day planting my vegetable garden and filling pots and planters with annuals. This year was no different. The weather was perfect and my time gardening flew by. In addition to the regulars (tomatoes, green beans, romaine lettuce, spinach, cabbage, basil and chives) I added cantaloupe, watermelon and cucumbers. I don't normally grow cucumbers because we really don't eat that many, but my thought this year is that the more I grow the less I buy. Any surplus can be shared with neighbors or donated. Our church has a large garden and the crops are donated to local food pantries.
We also expanded our growing area to use more of the yard, putting a trellis of sorts on two sides of the mini barn and planting blackberries and seedless red grapes. It will be interesting to see how they do. Also, along the back we added 4 Colorado Blue Spruce trees for privacy. The trees are small right now, so it will be awhile before they fulfill their mission, but we are patient.
My window box is filled with a slightly different combination each year. This year I have red verbena, a yellow trailing vine I haven't seen before, red dianthus and white snapdragons. Larger pots that live in mostly shady areas have red and white striped impatiens and asparagus ferns. The garden is lined with bright yellow marigolds.
Last year, I was smart enough to write down exactly how many and what kind of plants I purchased. I also kept a record of what I planted in each of the planters. I used that list as my guide this year. I went to the nursery with list in hand, knowing exactly how many plants and of what type I needed, making substitutions if something different called out to me. In the past I was so overwhelmed by the possibilities and with trying to remember what I needed that what was supposed to be fun (my annuals are my Mother's Day gift from the kids) turned into a headache. This year was LOTS better.
All that digging, squatting, lifting, bending, hoeing and raking left me a bit achy by the end of the day, but it was a good kind of tired and achy.
Now to keep things watered and hopefully watch them grow. And I can't wait til that first summer tomato is ripe and ready to be picked and eaten, right there in the garden, still warm from the sunshine, its juice dripping down my chin.