Tuesday, April 7

Spring Flowers on the Brain

In my perfect little world, which exists only in my head, I spend all day every Saturday playing in my garden. The weather is always a perfectly sunny 75 degrees, with a gentle breeze blowing from the West and making the windchimes dance.

I start by cleaning the pond, and it's a simple task devoid of any rocks falling into the water, fish freaking me out by swimming up to my arm and making fishy faces, and pockets of stinky black muck coming up through the siphon.

There are no weeds to pull in this perfect little scenario, but there are over-zealous perennials trying to take over the world. There are so many of them that once I'm done cleaning the pond, I have no choice but to spend a few hours transplanting healthy chunks of happy perennials to new parts of the yard.

I never run out of space for new plants, and every single one is vigorous and healthy. The only insects I encounter are a few friendly spiders and maybe a couple of cute little ladybugs.

It's a perfect little day in my perfect little garden, full of ample time to sit on the stained concrete bench and gaze at the pond, while drinking in the pleasant scents of roses and alyssum.

In reality, I get maybe an hour per month to play in my garden. I spend my hour rushing to prune, feverishly trying to get the pond cleanish, and pretending not to see the weeds and pesty insects that are everywhere. It's a damage control sort of hour, not at all an enjoyment sort of hour.

Of course, the reason for all this is Alexis. As much as I adore her, and I do, she is a giant ball of time-suck. Her refusal to sit on the bench and enjoy the garden like I want her to is often the reason I end up giving up on trying to watch her and work in the garden at the same time. I mean, not even duct tape can help with the situation.

After three years of neglecting the garden in lieu of keeping the kid happy and entertained, I've decided to fight fire with fire. Or, to be more exact, to fight fire with zinnias.

Enter, the seedlings.

Alexis and I worked together to carefully plant a couple of packs of flower seeds last week. I am hoping that by getting her involved early in the process, she will maintain some sort of level of interest for more than ten minutes.

So far, so good. Alexis has asked if her flowers have finished growing yet at least 4,682,894 times in the past week. She constantly walks over to them to lift the little greenhouse lid and check on them. She nags me daily that they need water, or sun, or a kiss.

She even talks to them.

Here's to hoping I at least get a chance to put mulch out this year. I'm pretty sure the hydrangeas would appreciate it.


  1. this sounds lovely. Maybe it's my perfect world too...

  2. Do you have any frogs in your pond? We had 1 last year that my daughter (4 at the time) inexplicably named 'Amy'. She would sit and talk to Amy while I worked. Only problem was if my son (1) was around, which was pretty much all the time, I had to spend the majority of time preventing him from throwing stones at Amy. Anyway, it's a good way to get a few minutes, if your little girl likes frogs. I hope Amy (or a frog that reasonably resembles her) comes back this year.

  3. We have a large back yard which would be gorgeous with some care (We had a fish pond too that I filled in after having a bad dream of a drowning..yes, I'm crazy).

    But I told my husband, "You realize we're not going to have time to make this how we want it for like 4 more years when the baby is older."

    So, in the interim, we [retty it up by makingt lots of hanging baskets (an activity my 3-yr old LOVES), planting potters and placing them around, and cleaning up what areas we can (an area Alexis can also help).

  4. We're a little landscaping challenged around here but I would love it to be 75 degrees all day every day! Maybe Alexis can help out this year!

  5. I have two things to say again...

    1. THAT'S your dream?!
    2. I want to see video of her talking to the flowers - what does she say to them? "Grow, please"?

  6. @Noelle--We put tadpoles in the pond every year, so we always have frogs. The sucky thing is that I have a magical ability to only get frogs who refuse to be seen. We always hear them jumping in the water when we get near the pond, but we very rarely see them.

  7. Positive reinforcement is good for plants. No, seriously, there are scientific studies proving it. Go, Alexis, go!
    I planted Zinnias last night for the toddler's first Easter flower planting tradition with me. They might just sprout by Easter because Zinnias sprout insanely fast.
    Oh, and your dream? A lot like mine but mine doesn't occur in my garden because our yard is all clay. My dream is in some mystical garden in a future house we haven't found yet...
    I hope fighting fire with fire works out!

  8. Anonymous10:03 AM

    I like your tactic! I have kept that idea in the back of my head for awhile, hoping to get some vegetables growing in the next couple of years! My kids adore going to Grandma and Grandpa's in the summer just so they can eat their way through the backyard!

    If nothing else, enjoy the dream!

  9. Hmmm... I think I need to borrow your green thumb. I planted my seedlings 3 or 4 weeks ago, and your one week plants are taller than mine. Some of mine didn't even come up :( Who am I kidding thinking I can even pretend to be a gardener.
    I hope Alexis catches the gardening bug. Gardening with the kid would be so much fun, if she can differentiate between a plant and a weed.

  10. I would sit on a bench and watch you in your perfect world. I would sit anywhere it was 75 degrees right now.

    Good call on the pre-garden, garden. Now she can just ask you a billion questions outside!

  11. "She is a giant ball of time-suck." If I ever make a quote of the day calendar I am using this one. I love it.

  12. I am not good at gardening at all. I kill everything. However, where we live there is a road and I know if I tried it, while watching Jonathan, nothing would ever get done. I admire your resolve to at least make the effort and include Alexis!

  13. That's so cute! What a great idea to have her help. I hope it works out ;)

    I'm hoping to spend some time learning in our yard this weekend. I'll have NO idea what I'm doing, but you have to start somewhere, right?

  14. Brilliant idea to get her involved early! I hope it works.

  15. I'm sure she will love being involved in the plants growing.

  16. I just came home from work and found that Cody apparently got on top of the table today. He smooshed all the flowers. :-(

  17. Oh Cody, what have you done?? (I just saw your tweet too...) Hope they are salvagable!

  18. Mark recieved garden gloves this year for his birthday with the same hope in mind. I realy neeeeeed garden time.

    I hope the zinnias work for you.

  19. Maybe your garden can be the new Fishtank of Horrors. Speaking of it, how is the old horror show doing?