Monday, March 31, 2008

spring has sprung

ok i know that is such a bad title; in addition, it really doesn't even apply to where i live because we go straight from spring to summer and back to spring--we skip fall and winter altogether.

for lack of a better title, though, it's my way of announcing that we planted a garden yesterday! i have had major anxiety over this project for a while. it's ridiculous really--something that should be approached as fun causing me near panic attacks. maybe this is a clue to my personality. anyway, i digress. the main reasons for my panicky state of mind is that i didn't want to buy all these seeds and little plants, only to have them eaten by hornworms (i won't provide a link but you can look them up--they are nasty little fellows) and rats.

yes, we have rats. they are called "fruit rats" here in florida. maybe they are a nicer version of the regular city rat, but i wonder if it's just to make them sound less threatening. they are everywhere, and they feed mostly on citrus. so i have been freaking out thinking they might come in packs and pillage my garden. at least this is what i'm imagining. (ok i think i need more sleep--and a less active imagination.)

a friend of mine who gardens, pixie, finally convinced me to take the plunge and just go for it anyway, so that's what we did. here's the list of what's in our garden, and pictures follow: sweet basil, purple basil (never tried it...we'll see!), dill, rosemary, cilantro, zucchini squash, grape tomato, rutgers tomato (regular size tomato), red pepper, yellow pepper, and an icebox watermelon (gillian's idea--i have no idea if it will survive...). then we planted seeds for green-leaf lettuce, winter butternut squash (mostly to make baby food), and cucumber. we also planted several varieties of sunflowers, including a mexican sunflower that looks like it will be gorgeous, and seeds for marigolds to keep the pests away.

this is our garden patch before i killed my completely out-of-shape body raking out all the weeds: (see that cactus in the background? random note: it blooms these amazingly beautiful white flowers sometime this spring/early summer and they only open at night after the sun goes down)

the kids getting dirty:

and the completed garden:

in all truthfulness, the "after" picture doesn't look all that different from the "before" photo. and maybe it even looks worse for now. our friends came over for dinner last night, and when they came in the door i said "hey! did you see my garden? we planted a garden today!" and they said, "oh we saw that patch over on the side of the house and thought maybe you guys were doing construction." :)

so for now it's not much to look at. but i still love staring at it. it's so exciting to see things grow, and i feel so maternal about these little plants i have just put into the ground (probably why i was feeling so anxious about even starting this endeavor--not wanting to take the chance some of them may not survive). and i also love playing in the dirt; it's a very spiritual experience for me, and very relaxing too, even in the blazing sun with two little ones fighting nearby.

so here's to spring and to my garden: grow, plants, grow!


Pixie said...

Yeah for you! I think it looks great. The white stones for the border are a great touch. Looks like this will be a great adventure for the kids too!

krystal said...

Congratulations!!! Here's to your success! (and hopes that the BT keeps the nasty hornworms away.)

Amelia Plum said...

your post is so funny! the before and after photos do look a bit similar but I love the rock border and can't wait to see how lovely your garden will look before you know it. and I understand your anxiety with the fruit rats and I think that might be a southern thing to make them sound nicer, they also do that for cockroaches by calling them palmetto bugs and those palmetto bugs in texas are pretty damn big (lived there very briefly) of course everything is bigger in texas. love the first picture with the pretty orchid in the background and the light blue trim of your neighbor's house. i so envy all the greenery and sun in your pictures and your adorable kids in shorts and bare arms.

amy said...

wow! i am impressed. gardening is not something that i even pretend to be able to do. (which is somewhat surprising since i grew up on a farm) i do love to reap the benefits, though. i can't wait to see how it progresses!

The Josti's said...

okay so we'll have to keep each other posted on how our gardens are doing. i haven't planted anything yet and haven't started my seeds yet since our last frost is still a ways off...although i really need to get going. i will also be posting a pic of my new garden attire that was a birthday gift from the girls. can't wait to teach maddie all about gardening. when she's older than 7 weeks...this is my chance to learn so i can impart my gardening wisdom (or mistakes) to her.

cookie said...

now that you've started there is no going is an always changing thing.if something eats one of your plants ,see it as an opportunity to plant something neew!
i love working in and changing my garden all the time.