thanks for sharing your garden!

Earlier this week (yes, while scouting out everyone’s curbside trash), I noticed a woman tending her garden. I called out to her that her garden was lovely, and we struck up a conversation. I told her that we’re contemplating planting a garden at our house (don’t worry, Tim is the project manager for watering, constructing the beds, watering, figuring out what plants stand a chance of surviving the center-of-the-sun-temperatures-we-experienced-this-summer-why-do-we-live-here, watering, weeding, watering, etc.), and she had all kinds of helpful guidance on what to plant and where, and where to go for advice.

She mentioned how hardy (hearty? Which is it?! It could be both!!) the Pride of Barbados plants are, and I told her about the sweet old man in our neighborhood who gave me some seeds.

funky leaves

What are these fun little guys? These weren’t in her yard, but I’d love a patch of them in ours – the leaves close up when you touch them. I devoted a decent amount of my childhood to making these leaves close up. Glad to have contributed to this world in a meaningful way.

I thanked her for sharing her beautiful plants with passers-by, having them in the front yard instead of the back. She said the trees in her backyard only allowed for shade perennials, and that there were plenty of options at Lowe’s for plants to grow in shadier areas, too. She talked about creating space for trial and error in life to find the right match of plants (uh, trial and error? Helpful on lots of levels for this recovering perfectionist).

Talk of gardening was woven into our conversation that covered all the things: healthy food, faith, family, money, life, death (her ex-husband passed away last month and she’s getting her home ready for his celebration of life in 2 weeks – his ashes will be lovingly sprinkled underneath the oak trees in her front yard). She said something like, “We should visit again some time!” and my heart almost burst with excitement – YES OF COURSE!

What a blessing this little connection was, coming on the heels of a sad tailspin of feeling-sorry-for-myself-I-am-lonely-and-am-so-tired-of-being-the-only-one-ever-in-the-history-of-the-world-to-initiate-spending-time-with-my-friends-woe-to-me-business-is-bad-no-one-wants-to-hang-out-with-me-I-am-a-loser diatribe.

Before we knew it, we’d been talking for more than twenty minutes – A let us know that it was entirely past her naptime and she was DONE with the stroller, so we parted ways. I promised to give her a call the week following her ex-husband’s service. How nice to meet such a sweet spirit just around the corner.

why we should start a garden in august

These are my backyard plants.

plants1

Punk petunias, if you couldn’t tell. They are scrappy little guys, both having seemed to resurrect Lazarus style once this summer, so I’m still holding on to hope. I’m pretty sure the rosebush I planted this spring is (also) dead, but it’s hard to get a good view of it from the deck, so maybe I’m wrong. I’ll spare you the carnage of the suffering snapdragon plant in the front yard, but come on over for a visit and you can see it in all its glory.

Point is, watering plants is apparently more than I can handle. So what do I do? Set out to transform our yard into an oasis of green grass and colorful petals and creeping vines, and I can actually envision all this, thanks to Pinterest. Granted, the photos of these yards don’t tell the whole story… for starters, they are likely MAINTAINED BY PROFESSIONALS (or people who pay attention to their plants like it’s their job and have nothing else to do). And these yards are probably not in Texas in August.

yeard3My focus is on vegetables and herbs because I’m passionate about being practical like that. (picture links to the pinned website)

yard4This! I can so do this!! (picture links to the pinned website)

I have many more pins of inspiration, but that board is private…. I don’t want to ruin the before and after photos for you.

Ok first things first. I need a landscape architect to tell me what areas of the yard can grow what type of plants. Then I need the already-mature plants to appear tomorrow or so (I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, so I’m ready for those plants to BE HERE!) Then, I’ll need them to water themselves while not adding to our water bill, weed themselves, prune themselves, fend off any ants or snakes or rodents or birds, and produce grocery store quality produce in the first week or so so I don’t lose interest.

Pinterest is so empowering!! I can do this!!

wind chimes

Saw this ginormous wind chime at the Natural Gardener yesterday and took a second to stand under it and just breathe. You should, too – take 12 seconds to watch and listen and breathe.

chimes pic

And if you want to listen to chimes for longer, listen to this! And open multiple tabs to all play that video for a windy effect. Good times.

ALSO, The Natural Gardener is amazing. We just went on a scouting mission, but it’s truly an oasis and is worth a trip even if you’re not ready to buy anything! Plants, trees, vines, advice, garden gnomes (if you’re into that), WIND CHIMES, plus goats and chickens for the kids to gawk at. Excited to make a plan for our garden/yard, clearly only after carefully reviewing their Survivor List – plants that didn’t die during the 2011 drought – because #forgetful. “Grow rosemary and mint!” they say. “You can’t kill them!” they say. Oh really? Post for another day. Oh wait I’ve already posted about this. Carry on.

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