social media
friends & sponsors
This form does not yet contain any fields.

    Entries in garden (2)


    like rain on your (neighbors') wedding day

    Spring around here is a funny thing. It rains; it pours; your carport floods. And then, for one day, it is 62 degrees, bright and warm from the time the sun shows his unfamiliar face until he lays it down in the Sound. And those twelve hours are enough to make you optimistic about the possibility of enjoying outdoor life again, in a sincere way, not a ha-ha, good thing I'm wearing galoshes kind of way.  

    We actually had, like, THREE of those in a row, a week or two ago. And then my poor neighbors who had waited TWENTY FIVE YEARS to get legally married found themselves putting up clear flashing around their gorgeous deck in preparation for a torrential downpour that waterlogged their wedding day. PNW, we can't quit you, but you sure are a jerk sometimes. 

    To console ourselves after we put some measly starts into the garden only to have it frost overnight at 37 degrees and kill our broccoli, George and I decided our raised beds could use some flags to jazz them up a little. Zelda had never potato printed, so we got out some muslin, cookie cutters, a potato, some paint and a paring knife.

    If you don't know how to print with potatoes, there is no shortage of tutorials online that probably give all the details you need, but all I do is press a cookie cutter deep into the freshly-cut side of a potato, then slice into the side of the potato with my paring knife and cut away the excess potato. Not exactly rocket science.

    George and Zelda chose an arrow, a heart, a star and a leaf. One arrow attempt failed, and turned into a bunny. Zelda kind of just tried to eat the potatoes, but George had a good time stamping the strips of muslin I had torn. Speaking of which, I didn't bother hemming these; I just snipped the selvedge edge of the muslin and tore it along the entire width of the fabric, leaving me with strips. 


    I gave George dishes of the paint that came with a paint-your-own wooden car kit. I have no idea what kind of paint it is, but it's labeled non-toxic, and it hasn't yet run. Do I need to tell you how many times it's rained? When the kids were satisfied that they'd eaten enough raw potato and sufficiently stamped the soon-to-be flags, we cleaned up, and let everything dry while we ate lunch.

    While George napped that afternoon, I cut the strips into smaller pieces and sewed a ribbon across the top, bunting-style. We stuck bamboo poles into the ground on each end of the garden and tied on the flags. I love that it helps give the kids some ownership of our garden in these early, boring days of germination and perseverence. 




    a child's garden of...dirt

    On Facebook the other day, Dee posted a link to an article about a play garden. George likes to mess around in our fallow raised bed, though between him and the chickens this has proven a bad pastime for the growing season. Our family plot will be locked down with chicken wire this year, high enough to keep a curious toddler and his three clucking cohorts at bay until their "assistance" is needed, but I wanted George to have a place to grow things of his own, to dig and hunt for worms and shovel away to his heart's content. I also wanted it to have some sensory components aside from the squishy mud, and The Imagination Tree's post about their sweet little garden gave me some inspiration. 

    Ordinarily, I am not one to recommend shopping at the dollar store, as I usually find thrift shops more fruitful and less, well, crappy, but when you've got about 20 solid, no-cry-guarantee minutes to get supplies for both a garden and dinner, you do whatcha gotta do. At the dollar store, I found:


    • a pinwheel
    • a muffin tin for mudcake making
    • a mat to kneel on
    • a bamboo windchime


    And at Home Depot, which shares the parking lot with the dollar store -- another place I would not ordinarily discuss patronizing, as there is a lovely local hardware shop and there are myriad pleasant little nurseries around -- I got:


    • a mint plant 
    • a lavender plant
    • two colors of posies
    • cedar edging


    At home, we already had a little trowel, a shovel and some terra cotta pots. I found some rocks and stones in the yard and piled them in one corner of the garden.

    I used some of the soil from our raised bed, as it needs to be supplemented anyway, and made a large-ish dirt pile in the hopes that George might not dig up the plants. The rocks and stones, I imagine, will gather some critters underneath (looking for and identifying bugs is currently a hot hobby around here), and a blackberry branch that needs to be pruned back is holding up the wind chime whose cheapness is, honestly, rather obvious. The dull clinking adds something nice to the space, though; I'm glad I thought to buy it. Already, the scents of the lavender and mint waft around when you walk by...especially when a certain hapless gardener is accidentally crushing the plants with his galoshes. 

    An hour of this morning was spent playing in the new garden, a good portion of which "makin' dinosaur fossils!" with his little raptor. Sometimes I am confounded over the fact that two years ago, my full-sentence-speaking, archaeology-interested child was this small and drooly:

    His sister enjoyed the view from her little coccoon, and maybe she'll be big enough to dig around a little, herself, by the time summer's really here. Because summer doesn't really get here until August, anyway.

    Happy spring!