The first house I remember growing up in was this little ranch on a cul-de-sac. The front of the house was lined with hedges, there was a crab apple tree in one part of the front yard and a birch tree, maybe – I don’t remember what it was, actually, in the opposite corner. If you were looking at the house from the street, my bedroom was on the very left corner, with two windows – one looking out to the street, another looking at the white house next to us. All of our yards were fenced in, and if you looked down between our two houses, right in front of the fence, there were these “snowballs” growing. I didn’t know them as anything other than snowballs for the longest time. I remember watching them each year and being fascinated by them and how the ants all loved to climb and eat at them.
We moved houses when I was in middle school and my mom dug up the plant and took them with us. I never really knew why, I just figured she loved them and didn’t want to let them go. For years and years they grew at my mom’s house, right next to the foundation. And then, a few years ago, she decided she didn’t want them anymore. I’m not sure why, other than maybe just wanting to do something different with her flower beds. So we dug them up, and I brought them home with me. I planted them in the front flower bed, not realizing that they needed a lot more sun than the front bed gets. They almost died but I managed to rescue them in just enough time to move them to another location.
A relative of mine is big into genealogy, and she likes to post up stories occasionally about my great grandmother (who I didn’t really know). Do you know why we had white snowballs (peonies)? Because those were my great grandmother’s favorite flower. She’s the one that called them snowballs. Years ago I was determined to plant roses in honor of my grandmother (Her middle name was Rose). I wanted to have something in my garden in honor of her and to remind me of her. I’m not, apparently, the only one who felt planting flowers was a great way of honoring loved ones and my mother had already beaten me to it years ago with these peonies.
Well, the garden is sorta planted. I still have peppers to plant, and a tomato plant. There are still zucchini seeds to get in there and cucumbers and such, too. It seems I’ve lost my enthusiasm this year for it. The garden, now, feels like something I used to do to fill my free time when I didn’t have all this other stuff going on. When I didn’t have a baby. When I didn’t have any other responsibilities other than a job. It has lost its fun and feels more like a chore. Which makes me sad, really, because it really was something I loved doing every year. Now I just look at it and see a lot of time that I have to invest in it and balance all of that with a job, other obligations, and my family. But I’m stubborn enough to not let it go just yet (though I may scale it way back next year) so I put it off and put it off until today when I couldn’t put it off any longer.
Planting what little bit I did get in was rough. With only half planting the garden last year thanks to being pregnant, the beds suffered. They didn’t get the compost needed, nor was the dirt dug a bit to keep it loose. In the fall, we didn’t dig everything under like we needed to. This year it was almost like having to start from scratch, digging out weeds and breaking up the compacted dirt. We still need to add more compost to the beds. We did manage to replace the cheap white fencing we put in a few years ago with a much nicer, much sturdier (and more expensive) metal one. Hopefully this one the dog won’t be able to get hooked on and drag it around. It’s black and not what I wanted (I prefer white to match our house trim), but it’s not the worst thing in the world. It might actually look kind of cute if I could get some flowers planted in front of it. That’s a project for next year, though. Or never. Probably never. There’s other things that need taken care of before I go creating more work for myself, like that stupid garage door with the giant rust stain that has gotten worse and worse since we moved here.
Spring has come and gone, it seems. We had lovely spring-like temps and rain and then suddenly the furnace was turned on around here and we’ve been hitting 85+ degrees. And, of course, our air conditioner broke. Trying to suffer through the heat with a baby is not fun at all.
I managed to capture the glory of our weeping crab apple tree at peak, which I rarely remember to do until it’s too late. The blooms lasted all of a few days before all the petals blew off in the wind, and now we’re back to just a plain ol’ tree. But for those few days it was the most beautiful thing in our yard. I need to remember to look for flowering things that will stagger our garden blooms. It’s sad to watch something fade and not have anything left to replace it.
The husband started cleaning up the garden in preparation for planting. We haven’t yet planted it – that was supposed to be today but it’s just too darn hot. Maybe tomorrow I’ll pop the tomatoes in the ground before it rains. The chives are blooming and going to waste – I didn’t realize they’d come back year to year until last year or so, and now that I know that I just haven’t really made the time to find out what to do with them to preserve and then use them. It doesn’t make sense to dry them or anything if we’re not going to use them. I might just have to rip them out and gift them to someone else. We certainly don’t need 4 patches of them. Or I suppose I could just move them and mix them into the landscape elsewhere. Kind of mix and match edibles with non-edibles. My rhubarb apparently hung on from last year. I’m not sure how, and it’s severely behind on growth – it shouldn’t be that tiny in May. But it’s there. I need to make a better effort to keep those stupid morning glory vines from choking it out.
I think my clematis is dead-dead. There’s no growth on it, either. I’m not sure if it’s the harsh winter that did it or the fact that I kept forgetting to water it. So it looks like I’ll be buying more of that to re-plant this year. I really do want this lovely trellis of vines growing up the side of the patio, that way I don’t have to look at the neighbor’s house when I hang out back there. I don’t mind living in the city, but I’m not the biggest fan of how close we are to the neighbors. Nor am I thrilled by the fact that our yard is impossible to fence in. It is what it is, though, and I still love my house despite the faults. I just have to be a bit more creative with the landscaping to make it the cozy back yard I want it to be.
Brandywine, San Marzano, roma, tomatillo, bell peppers, and brussel sprouts. I’ve nearly killed them a few times from a lack of water, but they’re still hanging in there. I need to transplant them to larger containers soon, though, to help them grow bigger before they can go outside. Maybe that’s what I should do today?