Monday, May 14, 2012

The Hopeful Gardener

I love gardening in May. Everything is promising, everything has potential. I can stick a handful of seeds in the ground and anticipate eating from their bounty in August. I can pat the rich, dark soil around a pepper plant and admire the soft strength of the leaves. In May, nothing has failed. There are no infestations on my pumpkins, and my tomatoes aren't leaning dangerously to this side or the other. In May, I am hopeful that everything I put into my garden will provide for my family in the later summer months. In May, my thumbs are green, and it is nothing but joy.

This is our sixth summer at our house, and the raised beds that we put in that first summer finally collapsed into a heap of rotting lumber. So last week I put my crafty carpenter hat on and constructed a brand spanking new raised bed.

If anyone is interested in a general description of how I did that, you can read my plan here. For the purposes of the casual reader, I'll just include a few pictures:

The site of the former and future garden.

Fun with power tools!

I drilled into a 2x2 length in the corners for stability.

Note: Empty garden beds make excellent dance floors.

The bed in place and filled with half a truck load of compost.
Adding the compost.

Finn pretending to be a strawberry.

Once the bed was finished, it was time to plan and plant the garden. We usually plant around Mother's Day, and this year I was gifted with a solo trip to the gardening center to buy everything we needed. It's not that I don't love bringing my two and four year old to a crowded greenhouse and pushing them around in a gargantuan cart while running back and forth from section to section...I just enjoyed it a teensy bit more by myself. To make the trip even more extravagant I bought a jamocha shake on my way there. Mother's Day Out.

Here's the finished garden. Nothing too unusual, though the bare root strawberry is a new attempt for us. Putting in the garden was a lot of fun with Finn at my side, and I think he'll really enjoy watching the process this year. We planted about half plants and half seed, so there should be plenty to see.

Laying out the plants and seeds.


The finished garden.

The happy gardener.


  1. Can't wait to see your garden! Yay for plants and hooray for solo trips to the garden center!

    1. We can't wait either! We were just looking at some photos the other day of the spring that you guys came to Urbana and helped us with some gardening. I'm still not very good at it, but I'd like to think I'm getting better each year.