Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hot Weather, Cool, Cool Water

Sorry it's been a while since I posted. We've been having fun with visiting family and trying to stay cool! It's only 10am and already it's 80 degrees!!

Lily loves the water. A garden hose, sprinklers, watering cans, swimming pools, dog bowls, whatever you can give her with water in it, she's in heaven. We haven't been doing a ton of gardening these past few days, aside from watering veggies and keeping them from wilting in this heat, but we have been playing with the garden hose. Fun! Fun! Fun!

She tries to drink from it and inevitably gets doused under the water, which then makes her shriek and ask for more. Nana and I can barely take pictures because we are laughing so hard. She even got to help her uncle Kevin "water" his garden.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hungry Little Sprout

When the strawberries started to ripen, I showed Lily how to pick the delicious, deep-red, ripe ones and feast on them. One berry and she was hooked. After that I showed her how to pick sugar snap peas and raspberries; she was a natural. The sugar snap peas are still growing and she checks them out every morning, chewing them into little pieces and then usually spitting the entrails out here and there throughout the yard, or trying to feed them to Dizzy.

After reading the "Zucchini" poem a gazillion times she can recognize zucchini in the garden. She points and says, "Nee nee," and tries to pull them off the vine. It's very cool to see her little mind make these connections and remember from day to day. This isn't to say that she only picks things that are edible. After all, everything goes in her mouth these days, including the mulch, the rocks and seeds from plants that are neither vegetables or fruits.

And she's fast for such a little sprout. So I'm like her shadow following her around the yard. I actually had to rip out a small bush this week that she kept honing in on. I have no idea what it was, but along with it's waxy, long oval-ish leaves, were hard, dark blue berry-like seeds. Since I didn't know what it was and couldn't let her eat the seeds, and she insisted on eating them, instead of fighting that battle over and over again, I ripped it out. Sorry small bush.

Last night she and Greg and I were playing outside, and, unprompted, she went right over to the Sun Gold cherry tomato plant, plucked the first ripe orange tomato, squished it into her mouth and said, "Myum-yum." That moment might just be worth every moment in the garden put together.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mornings in the Garden

Morning is my favorite time in the garden with Lily. Now when we go outside in the backyard she walks right over to the garden to check things out. First she heads straight for the strawberries; she sure has a good memory; I guess juicy, sweet, homegrown berries will do that to you.

We inspect all the plants, dig a little dirt with the garden tools, play some peek-a-boo, and eat peas. Lily likes to stick them in her ears too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Appreciating the Moment

So much of the time I feel like I don't get nearly enough done in the garden. And gardening with Lily often heightens that feeling. Gardening with her is a bit like watching the monkeys at the zoo; they're here and there and swinging and flying and chasing and never sitting still. I spend more time chasing her around and trying to persuade her to spit the rocks out of her mouth, than actually planting, or weeding or fertilizing, blah, blah, blah.

But when I think about it, even the days I do get to the garden chores, no matter how much I get done, it remains unfinished, always. Plus, there are moments with Lily in the garden that I wouldn't trade for all the perfectly manicured gardens in the world. Last night I happened to look up on the porch where she was playing with some new cauliflower, lavender and sage starts I just bought, and she is spontaneously playing peek-a-boo with me behind the plants.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


This is the first year I tried planting bare-root roses. Yes, I'm a sucker, I love the scent of them. I bought two climbing roses called, Joseph's Coat. They can also be pruned into more of a shrub rose. I bought them for the orangy-red color and the description on the tag, "fragrant and long lasting."

Greg and I planted them on a cold, drizzly night in February as it was getting dark. Lily and Dizzy helped by sitting nearby and offering a comment or two. While Greg dug the holes and I buried the roots, Dizzy taught Lily how to chew on sticks, and as soon as we were finished planting, she threw up. (I hope no one is reading this blog for tips on planting roses or parenting.)

One of the roses is not growing very well; now that it is summer I can see that it is not getting nearly enough sunshine. I will try to move it next winter/spring. The other one is thriving and last week it finally bloomed, yeah!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dog Days

I feel I've been horribly neglectful in mentioning and including one of the main character's in Lily's life, her big brother, Dizzy the dog. Dizzy likes to garden and hang out with us in the yard too. In fact, when Greg and I first bought the house, and Greg built an additional raised bed in back, as soon as he was finished, Dizzy waltzed right over and climbed in, basking in the sunny dirt as if it had been built for him.
The raised beds in back have a low fence around them with a charming, (falling apart,) gate. Dizzy used to be able to get into the garden from the back, and once inside, couldn't figure out how to get back out. So he would sit by the gate and bark a sort of high-pitched, "help me I'm stuck in the garden, Mom!" bark. He's awesome at digging too. Dizzy is a regular gardening genius.
It's been so unbelievably gorgilious here lately that it's really hard to do anything but laze around and play in the sunshine. Soak up as much as we can while we can mentality. Dizzy and Lily have no problem with this.