Here’s a Title About Plants and Gardening


If there was ever a day to be in Middle Tennessee, today may have been it. Beautiful, sunny, not yet hot. A nice straight rain in the afternoon, right about nap time. Breezy evening. I’m writing this so I’ll remember it in August when my skin is melting off– the mid-south does have its gorgeous moments.

Today we put in our very first for-real garden. I’ve tinkered with container gardens and even chopped up the back corner of the yard for tomatoes I would later completely neglect, but we’ve never done this. We’ve never rented a tiller, planned out what we wanted to plant, fertilized, pulled weeds. It’s getting pretty serious there on the south side of our house. This year we hope for bell peppers, squash, zucchini, hot peppers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and one promising strawberry plant. The herbs are waiting patiently for me to dig up the former flower bed around the pine tree. It’s going to be great. I’ll keep you posted. And if you live here and things go as planned, you’re welcome to some tomatoes.*

Today’s adventure to the farmer’s market held all kinds of promise, lots of hand-holding and strolling and unhurried chatting, general goodness in the sunshine, and friendly toddler on her best behavior. We got our plants in the ground just in time to get inside for lunch and listen to the rain finish our hard work. We may have skipped church this morning to get our plant on, but be assured we were fully aware of and thankful for our blessings.

A. and I watched the Darjeeling Limited last night, and while it was no Royal Tenenbaums, I still want to watch it again. If I could live in a Wes Anderson film set, I would. Every time I watch one, I want to eat it. That’s how frustratingly perfect they are to me.

A. and I were able to watch a movie last night because one of us did not fall completely asleep in Bird’s room during her bedtime routine. This was accomplished by the snuggle-then-sit modification to the sequence of events. It also involved using a tiny flashlight to get closer to the end of Middlesex while my big girl drifted off to sleep in the bed across from my chair. It worked so well (and again during nap today) that A. bought me a sweet little book light to continue this adventure in falling asleep (for her) and staying awake (for me). Of course, it’s now 9:41 on Sunday evening and A. is fast asleep and snoring in that itty-bitty twin bed of hers, but we’ll try again tomorrow. We just got back from Sunday dinner with friends, and they are both extra-tuckered.

Also, I have not changed a diaper since Friday. SWEET FREEDOM, my friends! I also have not peeled soaking-wet peepee pants from a 30-month old or pulled down tiny underpants while a surprise turd rolled out across the floor. No sir, my wonder-child has been accident-free for three straight days. I am literally brimming with hope for tomorrow.

*Here’s a story about tomatoes, and I’ll make it quick:
A couple of years ago my sweet, well-into-retirement and ultra-green-thumb neighbors (or “the ladies” as they are known in our house) gave us a bag of homegrown veggies. How nice! I chatted on and on, all neighbor-like across the fence about my proven failures in gardening, vegetables from my grandmother’s garden, rhubarb in Indiana. It was revealed to me by the ladies that they had been very cautious with their water usage all summer, saving their bath water to water the garden. And come to think of it, I couldn’t remember ever seeing them with a hose, always a big, white bucket, back and forth to the house in the evenings. And there I was, holding a bag of gifted tomatoes and cucumbers from that garden, some of the wateriest of produce.

My mother grew up on a farm and didn’t seem to think this was at all gross or that these beautiful tomatoes were full of old-lady soup. And really, she’s probably right– bathwater probably doesn’t even hold a candle to all of the other atrocious things that happen to store-bought produce. But still. I knew. And the moral of the story is: sometimes it’s best not to know.

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2 comments

  1. chester copperpot

    loved this post :). i read middlesex a few months ago after years (literally) of recommending from my best friend. and i just planted tomatoes and cucumbers in my first ever attempt at container gardening. i’m a little fearful that i’ve done something wrong. we’ll see how it goes. thanks for sharing.

  2. Claudia

    I could have gone all year without reading that watering tomatoes with bath water story. That is disgusting and probably totally OK to do, still …

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