Sunday in the Garden or A Day of One of my Favorite Hobbies

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sunday Gardening

All my life I thought I was gifted with a brown thumb, all because of an Air Fern.  I was 15 and being a teenager I didn’t ask how to care for it, I just thought well it doesn’t make sense that it doesn’t need water, everything needs water, so I sprayed it with my handy water bottle that I used when I tanned.  Two days later it was nothing but a pile of delicate needles on the ground.  Again as a teen I just thought I knew it all and guess what I have a brown thumb!  Now this really makes no sense when you know my upbringing; I was raised on a farm.  My entire family has green thumbs, both sides for dozens of generations, back to Britain and beyond.  I was raised working the soil, planting, watering, harvesting… I was raised to grow plants in the dirt, “Because I’m an old Southern woman and we’re supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt” (yes that’s another shameless movie quote rip-off, Steel Magnolias one of my favs).

The fern was actually a convenient excuse to not try, to deny my heritage, to avoid that funny looking hat, and what I thought it meant.

Back in 2011, before the divorce began, for my birthday in May I went to Clearlake, Cali to visit 2 of my very close friends.  It was an amazing visit, we hadn’t seen it other in many years, and we spent the time reminiscing, catching up, and enjoying the gorgeous views from the patio around the fire pit gossiping and giggling till the wee morning hours.  I was so relaxed when I got home I felt like a new girl, revitalized and ready to tackle life again.  I had to have a relaxing patio area to enjoy, even without a view or fire pit.

In the apartment I lived in at the time, I had 2 little patches of dirt (with lots of weeds), some cement, and a wooden patio structure so I didn’t get much sun, just the hot afternoon sun.  Regardless I was determined to make an oasis for my family and friends.

The next day I went to Lowe’s and bought 4 pieces of sod, and a few plants that liked sun according to the tags. I can only tell you one of them was a big peach colored Gerber daisy.  I also got a beautiful succulent that looked like it would have magenta flowers and some pretty blue ones… I really had no clue.  I grabbed a couple of lilies because they were one of my mom’s favorites.  This was pretty much my process, it’s pretty, my mom liked those and it needed sun.  I was about effect not how it happened really, I figured it would all be dead in a couple of months anyway, just make it last till after the 4th of July, middle son, R, would be home from a very long deployment and we always have a big party day and this year was going to be even bigger.   I worked up a sweat pulling weeds, turning the soil, spreading out potting soil, laying the sod, arranging the plants.  I actually only planted the little blue ones, I wanted to be able to move the others in case they didn’t like the sun after all and needed to be moved.  Final step I watered everything down really good (cause again my brain says everything needs water to live, right) and then set back with a margarita to enjoy my hard work.

In the beginning
A beautiful Lily
Just a few short weeks later, my husband left and I had to move… the short time I did get to enjoy my garden was great.  I was relaxed and happy there and I started to feel a connection with my past.
The next summer found me moved again and this time my patio was completely cement, it measured only about 3 feet across and was about 12 or 13 feet long.  Long and very skinny.  I had the overwhelming urge to make a paradise.  My neighborhood was not so good (code for ghetto, but it was what I could afford and the apartment itself was all renovated inside) and I needed somewhere to relax, Drs orders!  I wanted an oasis, somewhere to mediate and do yoga.  I remember back to those great nights on my friends patio and the few precious weeks I had on the other patio.  Ok, I thought I can do this, I can grow things!

A few trips to the Dollar Tree99 onlyKmart, my favorite thrift store, Merced Thrift Center and the local flea markets, I had lots of pots, macrame hangers, seeds, soil, plants and some cute little knick knacks to display among my plants.  My collection grew over the summer and I had such amazing success, even my sister, C, (the ultimate Green Lady) was impressed with what I had accomplished.  It did the trick too, anytime I went onto my patio my stress level immediately went down once I was seated in my garden, my sanctuary, my oasis from all the evil and danger beyond its walls.

I had houseplantstropicals, tons of flowers, from roses to lilies to zinnias. I grew herbs and veggies.  It all seemed to flourish so easily.  Not only did I derive relaxation, and peace but I found this amazing connection with my mother.  When I mediated it was her voice that took over my brain, her voice that chanted and spoke softly to me, guiding me to inner peace and in the direction of wholeness, after having my heart ripped out and my life shattered.  Thank you mom and dad, you gave me the gift of life twice. Once in birth and then again in how to nurture life from the soil.  I can now appreciate that they feed not only my physical hunger but my souls hungry desire for beauty.  I only wish I had know sooner so I could have shared this gift with my sons.

This was the weekend for me to get my garden on!  So of course I wanted to share it with the world, my pride is too great (and sure to be my downfall when nothing grows).  Just having my hands in the rich earth was to melt away the dark grey skies of winter and to release all the joys of summer.  The smells only imagined will soon fill the air.  The colors will astound the eyes.  I will have another oasis from stress, a place to get away, to mediate, relax, and share with my loved ones. Its now only soil, seeds, bulbs, pots and some sad plants that have been trapped inside all winter but I have already experienced nirvana.  I hope that even if you only have a small area, maybe even just a window sill that you will try to grow something beautiful.  Get your hands dirty and commune with nature, it will do your soul and your spirit good.

This is only a portion of the pots I have collected.
Maybe this year I will actually use these!
Compost is a must, made my own this year, blog for another day 😉
The Gloves came off after this as obviously my flip flops already had.
Now just have to wait. Isn’t that little frog pot too cute!
Going big this year.
Seed collection
Lilies, a tomato plant, a plant I am trying to save, zinnias, my herbs.
Herbs, another tomato, some various flowers and one of my favs, Morning Glories.
Lilies for my mother.
Christmas Cactus that is actually my BFFs that I am babysitting for her, and I made it bloom!
What a view!
I added a mix of flower seeds to this one.
Look I even found one with polka dots!
The tropical got some Asylum seeds.
I truly luv my new patio, great light, and gorgeous sunsets. Life is good.

I hope this post serves to inspire you and I promise to keep you updated on the progress of all my hard work.  Have a great week.

Enjoy Y’all


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