Small Joys: Gardening

My mom and grandparents have always been the green thumbs of the family. As a kid, I saw the garden and its associated chores more as a punishment then a pleasure. But the just like my blue eyes and shorter stature, there are certain passions that inevitably pop up and take root in my heart that I can only blame my parents for passing on. This year, that gardening gene, 25 years dormant, flared up. Unable to resist my DNA, I had to dig in the dirt and grow little plant. 

I've made some mistakes, learned much and enjoyed every minute of it. Compared to my mother's half acre gardens, I've started small with just three 4'x8' beds and a couple flower beds around the house.

At our old house, I never planted anything I cared about and had no interest in landscaping. I think deep down I felt it was best not to invest too much into a place we might not stay for a long time. This new home has been the opposite. I've put effort and work into long term investments. I haven't hesitated to let my heart fall in love and let my dreams fill this place. This is home. I can feel my own roots digging deep into this place just as much as my little plant's are.

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Gathering up things that brought joy this week and taking a moment to be grateful.

These lilies surprised me. They were a bonus that came with the house and I didn't know about until recently. As they grew and put out buds I could barely contain my excitement to see what color they would be. They did not disappoint. I don't think I've ever seen this color lily and I just love it.

The same happened with a couple rose bushes I found hiding in our flower beds. They're done now, but I loved visiting them every day they were blooming and seeing their pink blossoms swarming with bees.

My vegetable garden has been doing so well, even though I'm the silly goose who planted enough broccoli and cabbage seeds to fill 10 beds with only those two plants. My mom is an expert lettuce grower and I'm working on my own skills in that category. So far so good, but not quite big enough for a salad yet.

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My peppers have baby peppers! I'm so excited to make some salsa this summer and can barely wait for it.

Along our garage someone planted three lavender plants along with strawberries. I'd never heard of this combo. My best guess is that the lavender is meant to keep pests away from the berries? This past week the lavender was ready for picking. So far I've harvested 4 bunches and have them hung to dry in our bedroom. I can't get over how amazing fresh lavender smells compared to all the scented products that claim to be lavender. The real thing is infinitely better.

Nothing has made me feel more like a real gardener than when I said "I need rubber boots." I haven't had a pair since I moved away from my parent's farm. They are completely linked to garden and farm work in my mind. I found L.L.Bean wellies that are easy to pull on and will hopefully last a long time. Now my feet don't get wet when I'm working outside. 

Love of red geraniums are another trait I inherited from my mom and this plant I bought last year fulfills every dream of deep red flowers I've ever had. Somehow I kept it alive on my dryer all winter and now it's putting our the most beautiful red petals. I've propagated a couple from this plant and I'm hoping its babies have the same color blooms.

Finally, I'm so grateful for sunsets at home. I've been spending the last hour or so of every day our in the yard tending to my plants. It's cool enough for transplanting and watering. A bonus is that it's also the most beautiful time of day. We allowed the back half of our yard to grow out instead of mowing it. Every evening I catch my breath when the wind and sunset play across the long grass. 

I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people KNOW more... though I know that IS the noblest ambition... but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me... to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.
— L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

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