A Garden Interrupted

Every year I ignore the fact that I kill everything I try to plant and  dream up grand plans for an abundant garden.  Every year those plans seem to get interrupted. . .

Last year was going to be the year. We had a yard (as opposed to the balconies, porch stoops and window sills I had tried before). We bought the wood to build the beds. I bought seeds in anticipation. Everything was right on track. . . . except our ambition.  After all the joy of  planning I was burnt out, and after trying to turn our  mess of a yard into, well, a yard, my husband wasn’t so hot on the idea of  doing one more thing like building me beds. So the 2×4’s sat in the garage and I put the seeds in the cupboard.

This year was going to be different. I’ve been talking to gardening friends and family members gleaning advice and tips. I’ve read book after book on small space gardening, organic gardening, etc., and my google reader is chocked full of blogs with writers who are sharing their green thumb ways with those like me out there with ones that are black. I saved a stack full of egg cartons to use for starting. I picked up some tools at rummage sales and Goodwill. I was ready.

But then it happened . . .

First I couldn’t find the seeds. They sat all winter sitting on a shelf in my cookbook cupboard waiting for spring. But then they were gone. Did I accidentally throw them away? I was sick with the thought  that I had possibly put those precious seeds in the trash! After two months of waiting for them to show up I went to the co-op and bought more.  I was getting my garden this year, I didn’t care if I had to pay for it twice.

We got home and the kids were anxious to start some seeds. I reached high in the cupboard to get down the saved egg cartons; as I pulled them down out dropped the box full of seeds I was missing.All at once I was giddy with excitement and wondering if I had kept the receipt of the ones I just bought.

So into the egg cartons full of potting soil they went. Sitting on a hot pink princess table in our homeschool area they received lots of sunshine, the right amount of water, and quite a bit of attention from Willow and Cedar. Willow squealed with excitement each time she noticed a new sprout

About a week later I was in the kitchen doing dishes when I heard Cedar say, “Fors (flowers) for you Mama”. I turned around to a big smile, dirty fingers and a hand full of seedlings. I wanted to cry and hug him at the same time.

Part of me wondered if something was trying to tell me NOT to do a garden this year; the other part was determined to do whatever it took to have one.

Since then our cat has dined on the rest of the seedlings, proceeding to puke their remains up on our basement floor. After cleaning it up I decided  that I am not giving up.  And then went to talk to my husband  about when he could get those beds up. Even if only weeds are found in them, I’ll be thankful to have grown something successfully in my own garden.

Here are two ideas that I WILL be trying with my kids:

-A fun way to start sunflowers from Chasing Cheerios.

Poo Pops from Zach Abroad. Love these! I think we may make some up to share with friends and cousins too!

What have you been up to in the garden?


  1. This is hilarious! Now I don’t feel so bad about my annual failed garden attempts.