Finally! I am giddy with gardening fever. The peonies are shooting up, my geranium bed is finally planted, there are deep purple pansies nodding in the crumbly stone planters, and we’ve started eating dinners on the back porch. Life is again very good.
Although the brickwork is only half weeded…
Joel’s first year of grad school is behind him, and he jaunted out for half of the week to hang out with us and generally be awesome. He spent one day clearing out scrub (we have a lot of scrub encroaching on our property… the house was a foreclosure, but I don’t think the previous owners were especially concerned about the yard even before that), built a raised garden bed for my kitchen garden, watched Iris so Carl could come with me to my 20 week ultrasound, watched Iris so I could go to my book club alone, made really good lattes, and was basically the perfect houseguest. If I were a hostess in Brit society novels, I would always invite Joel to my soirees. He’s that type of person.
The raised bed is hidden from the house behind one of the terraces, so the view from the back porch is undisturbed, but its close enough to trot the hose down there for easy watering. Eventually (like when we get that fallen tree trunk removed) there will be room for a second bed back there, and my goal is to have a cutting garden for flowers as well as a kitchen garden, but these things take time. I don’t have much experience with gardening, so we kept it pretty simple: 3 rows of strawberries (a variety that’s supposed to produce fruit throughout the summer as long as it’s properly watered), a row of cherry tomatoes, a row of regular tomatoes, and two rows of herbs (oregano, rosemary, basil, and mint).
We had fresh mint in our watermelon salad with dinner tonight—our first taste of the summer and SO GOOD. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried mint with watermelon, but if you like the two flavors separately, you should really give it a go. A great pairing and at least half of the reason I knew I wanted some mint in the garden.
This morning Iris and I made a special detour at the grocery store to the toy aisle. We kicked around some soccer balls and checked out all the offerings and stocked up on summer essentials: sidewalk chalk, bubbles, a toy watering can (so hopefully mine will seem less appealing), and a tiny plastic pool. So much joy for $15!
On the down side, we have taken a small step back in the “appropriate indoor behavior” category. I let her pour water and play with mud textures in the yard, and she hasn’t quite figured out that this does NOT mean I’m okay with dumping milk on the kitchen floor or grinding up animal crackers and creating a spreadable paste…
A small price for so much happiness.
Summer is always worth it.