Liv and I can't stand it anymore. The garden is going in TODAY. We are both playing hooky from school and work and will spend the day lugging up our seedlings and herbs from the basement and transplanting them into the garden.
Radishes. Lettuce. Green Beans. Peas. Zucchini (WHY do I let her talk me into this every year? Every year is grows like wildfire and in August, our neighbors are avoiding eye contact so that we don't push zucchini on them!) Squash. Baby potatoes. Carrots. Onions. Okra for Bing, who would marry it if I let her. Okra is pretty, but leggy. And kind of persnickety. Likes to get her own way. (Or as Bing said to me last night: I am already married to okra, honey..... I smiled because I am only marginally pretty and certainly not leggy. Hard to be leggy when you are barely five feet tall. And PERSNICKETY? LIKE TO GET MY OWN WAY? ME???? Okay. Slam dunk.
We tried corn once. Dismal failure. The rabbits will go for the lettuce, so we plant butter lettuce just for them and don't surround it with marigolds, like we do with the rest of the garden. (Hint: rodents DETEST the smell of marigolds and unless they are really hungry, will avoid it...I plant horseradish too and this works almost as well...but on hot summer nights...well...the horseradish stinks up the joint.)
Herbs: Rosemary (Again...WHY do I let Liv talk me into rosemary every year? It is garrulous and wild natured and monopolizes the garden conversations. Kind of like my Aunt Dottie.)Basil. Thyme. Cumin for Bing, who would date it, probably not marry it, but definitely date it...) Lavendar for Liv. Lemon Verbena for me. Parsley for our spaghetti and Sage just because it has the most beautiful velvety leaves.
Tomatoes and peppers staked.
All of the houseplants will come outside to sit on the back porch and doze in the summer air. Our house will look strangely naked until early October when they all come scurrying back in for warmth again.
My other flowers are starting to peep up. My lilac bushes are budding. The peonies are making their round marbles, trying to attract ants to open them up like girls at their first dance party. I love my old school flowers the best: bachelors buttons, bleeding hearts, lilies of the valley, which surround our back deck and in early June, their scent will attract us like sirens and we will move from sofa reading to Adirondack chair reading.
My trouble children: roses and calla lilies. Calla likes her water prepared before sprinkled please. Shaken not stirred. And my roses? Good lord, I baby them worse them royalty, but they reward me each year with their pink, red and soft white and yellow blooms. I will carefully cut their stems and put them on our dining room table with candlelight so that they can share in our summer life. After they die, I will sprinkle their petals in my bath water and come out smelling like...well...a rose. Bing will grouse that there are still petals in the tub, Maria and could I please do a better job of taking them out when I am done? They are drain cloggers! I will laugh and put my arms around her and say, "But don't they look so pretty against the porcelain?"
Bing will look at me and shake her head because she is always the pragmatic one and I am always the one wandering off to look at the moon and sing to my garden with Liv.
Liv told me that she could hear the seedlings talking in the basement this morning.
"They are excited, Mama! It is like prom for them, I think! They can't wait to get out of their cramped quarters and come get settled and spread out their leaves!"
She is her mother's daughter, who is her father's daughter, who was his father's son.
After planting, we will come in all happy and ready to take on summer. Later this afternoon, we will sign Liv up for swim team again (even though she will miss 10 days in June! Sorry! She has to visit her father in France!) and stop to pick up some blueberries to put on the pancakes that we will make Bing for dinner.
And bed. My bones will be aching by then, but I will be smiling.
It is supposed to gently rain tonight. Perfect for my babies. Perfect for me to snuggle close to Bing, who will smile in surprise at this and kiss my finger tips.
I am 52 years old and lost nearly 8 years of my life to wild drinking and drugging. I won't miss any more of it. I want to be present for the rest of the show.
Have a good day, y'all.
OH! I forgot to tell you! We are planting pumpkins this year too! Yes, we ARE loony birds because pumpkins are like the transformers of any garden, plunging around, bullying the other plants. But...no. Liv and I will sing to them and coax them into kindness. Well...maybe I am delusional. Sometimes you can't change temperament, but we can try. We can try.