More about the freaking garden. And Mother’s Day, I guess.

I didn’t post this weekend because I was busy being a mother. That has always seemed like the point of Mother’s Day, to me — not presents and singed toast in bed, but spending the whole day having fun with my kid. On Mother’s Day, Michael very kindly takes over my daily hassles so that I can revel in playing with Connor, and it’s great.

Which is not to say that I didn’t get gifts, because I did. Michael got me five gorgeous new plants (pictures forthcoming; I have no idea what any of them are), a shiny green balloon, and the gardening tool set I’ve been drooling over. Of course, this meant that Connor and I spent most of the day outside, watering things and stroking things and setting up my nice new compost bin. A very nice friend of mine loaned me a garden weasel and some weedkiller, so we did a little maintenance work in unplanted areas, too. The wildflowers that I’d thought ruined by last week’s storm sprouted up, all tiny and tender and green, so we did a happy dance or three.

There was a darker aspect to the day, though: four of my tomato plants officially gave up the ghost. Two of them I had sort of expected to die, as four plants in one large pot is really too many. The other two I am chalking up to inferior soil; they’re the plants I potted in dollar-store soil because I’d already spent $55 on good soil and kept running out. (I have now typed the word “soil” too many times. Soil. Soil. SOIL!) Alas. Plans are in the works for this weekend — I’m picking up a cherry tomato plant on Wednesday, hardening it off on Thursday and Friday, then planting it (with better soil) in the dead plants’ pot on Saturday. We’ll see how it goes. I am left with five tomato plants right now, which isn’t bad on its face. Somehow, this garden will soldier onward. Well, except for the grass, which was ruined by that storm. I am not looking forward to replanting it, either.

Connor has decided that he wants to be a “garden guy” when he gets bigger. I, of course, think that this is a swell idea. He loves being out in the yard (although largely because he knows if I am gardening I will not be nagging him about staying out of the dirt or keeping his hands off the splintery ramp), and he seems pretty attached to the plants. He makes enormous eyes at me when I tell him that this summer there will be food out there. He also makes enormous eyes at me when I pinch off a leaf of basil or peppermint for him to nibble. I love gardening with him, getting out in the sun and making things grow that will later make him grow. (I am not meaning to get all Lion King circle-of-life on you here, but it is a nice feeling.) At some point, I am going to take him to a greenhouse and let him pick out a plant to grow himself. He’s already “in charge” of the compost bin, and he takes his turning/watering/mixing duties very seriously.

Ahhh, sweet slave labor. That’s what Mother’s Day is all about.


4 Responses to More about the freaking garden. And Mother’s Day, I guess.

  1. lethal says:

    Last night, my friend and I cut up cucumbers and put caraway seeds and salt on them and DAMN. I don’t even like cucumbers!

    Also, a friend of mine brought me a squash from his partner’s lawn-eradication project and HOLY FUCK. I am addicted to squash. I guess it started because my school cafeteria served butternut squash ravioli for supper most nights as the only vegetarian dish and, while I wasn’t particularly fond of it at first, it grew on me. Now, I can’t get enough of the stuff. All kinds!

    Also, I love reflecting on the fact that squash, eggplant, zucchini, and cucumbers are actually fruit.

  2. sarawr says:

    Tomatoes are fruit too! Berries, to be precise.

    Also, if you liked the salt/caraway/cucumber thing, prepare to be amazed by this: ice-cold sliced cucumber, lime juice, and sea salt. It is DELICIOUS.

  3. Mer says:

    I keep forgetting you live in the desert, because in my end of the world, 5 tomato plants would be more tomatoes than a dozen people would know what to do with, and I nearly plotzed when I read that.

    My addition to the cuke recipe collection:

    thin-sliced cukes mixed up with thin-sliced onions
    toss with oil and vinegar
    frige for several hours so the veggies wilt a little

  4. sarawr says:

    Add some diced tomatoes to that and mix the oil/vinegar (should be balsamic) with about three T of sugar, and you have my gazpacho recipe!

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