I wish I could say it was the rain that dampened our gardening spirits, but it wasn’t. My fun and casual plans for gardening with the kids this summer never sprouted. Neglected our garden became, lost, forgotten in the midst of our tragedy. My mom’s sudden diagnosis and horrible death from lung cancer changed the shape of our landscape more than any amount of rain ever could.
Full of things that didn’t belong, our garden was definitely one of surprise this summer, not many of which I can say were welcome. Trimmed lavender bushes without a second bloom, droopy, short broken sunflowers, blueberry bushes stunted in their growth, seeds from a package marked lacinato kale grew dark purple beets instead. Only one broccoli plant bloomed from seeds I haphazardly tossed in the waiting composted soil, and that one eventually became the Ohlin Hostel for Travelling Cabbage Worms – their green blending in perfectly with the lose florets. Peas that grew too small or too big, lots of lettuce – big surprise – onions that hardly grew at all, garlic gone crazy, zucchini covered in aphids and arugula grown and bolted in less than three weeks.
Too much water. And then, not enough.
Strange happenings, odd growth, longing, death and regret. If only I’d planted more kale, why didn’t I build the greenhouse last year? If only I hadn’t been so picky? I would have planted more thank-yous to my mom, more hugs and laughter and appreciation.
Unfortunately I can't change the past, and although I'm still in the fog that settled in upon us this summer, I hope that 2012 will be a better year for all of us. I hope that the desire to garden with Lily and Jasper will return as well as my joy in writing about our garden escapades. I hope you all have a wonderful, healthy new year.