May 17, 2009

Home improved.

We've come full circle, in the front yard, anyway. We weeded, eliminated sickly plants, spruced up healthy ones, bought pretty new stuff and stuck it in the ground. Lavender, golden euonymous, barberry, and violas for now. I'm not sure what's in the hanging baskets, and we still have two flats of ground cover (deep blue Lobelia and delicate white Alyssum) to plant. Not to mention future projects: vegetables, herbs and Grace's giant raised flower bed in the back yard. But WOW this made a difference, in both appearance and morale. Turns out it's more fun than work spending the weekend outside with the family (Brady included) getting dirty, sunburned and scratched up. It was NOT fun unearthing a giant blob of gray slime in the front flower bed, which will forever remain a mystery. On a positive note, we found it before Brady did; it was one of the grossest things I've ever seen and therefore would have been an irresistible delicacy for our nitwit dog.

Speaking of crazy Brady, I was cleaning up outside yesterday and one minute she was standing in front of a raised bed looking perfectly innocent, and the next I looked over to find her curled up in a hole she must have dug in about twenty seconds. I may have mentioned this before, but Brady likes to bake herself in the sun until she is near death, then find a nice, shady patch of earth and bury herself. She must have been so pleased at how easy it was to scoop nice, loose soil from an empty bed. Me? Not so much.

Next up is Grace's flower garden. There is a huge raised bed in the back yard that's all ready to go — weed-free, lots of yummy compost (mmmm, bat guano) and peat added, just waiting for some roots to suck up all those nutrients. We even bought compost tea to make sure Grace's first foray into planting her own space is a success. Now we need to decide whether to plant the seeds properly or attempt to reenact the scene in The Secret Garden where Mary Lennox stands on the tree stump tossing seeds about with abandon. Maybe a bit of both.

Then we'll plant our edible garden, and I can't wait to see Grace eating beans and tomatoes off the vine, or pulling carrots and radishes out of the ground. This is how she first accepted vegetables as food — planting them, watching them grow and finally harvesting them at the farm her old daycare used to bring them to. Maybe we'll even try some sweet corn and salad greens. And chickens! Really, it might be worth it just to see the look on Brady's face, and to see how long it would take her to get into the coop.

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