I haven’t had a good veggie garden in a while.
Two years ago we planted celery and tomatoes and squash. The garden’s mood went up and down with the sun, and we nibbled on pinkish celery while fighting off giant green caterpillars, throwing them into the park behind our home as an offering for the birds to come closer to my yard.
Last year it went overrun as we navigated complicated emotions, the old tomato plant that had lasted a full year choked by morning glory flowers that someone planted years before we moved into the neighborhood, whose roots ran deep and unknown.
Every day I closed the window to the garden. I knew the weeds needed pulling but didn’t have the energy, consumed by grief and the regular needs of caring for two houses at once, managing leftover bills and fighting for life insurance payouts after my dad fell ill and passed.
The garden is cleared out, done quickly and efficiently one Saturday morning by people other than me. My sons and I spread out new soil to mix in, planted the standard tomatoes and flowers, and started rebuilding a new garden. My husband went above and beyond in a corner, scraping away years of disregard to make way for geraniums and hope.
This garden wouldn’t be as successful as it is now if we hadn’t had things taken away from us. Baseball has been canceled, and pulling weeds has been the new outfield experience, baseball gloves traded for gardening ones. Watering the garden is the new morning recess, and the lessons of plant biology and life cycles are happening right in front of us instead of textbooks.
I plan on adding in more flowers since a long-term goal of mine was to have flowers to pick in the yard. My gardenia is budding and little dahlias are springing up. I am also reviving a ‘The Fairy’ rise bush, tiny pink flowers peeking past soft leaves and super prickly thorns.
Its been over two months since my kids saw school – count from March 13th in our confinement, and another two months time will show us harvesting from our little garden, fruits of our confinement.