A few weeks ago Lucy and I headed to the garden to plant broccoli. When we were ready for the seeds, I discovered there were only 8 of them - since Lucy had eagerly opened the packet from the bottom on her way across the yard.
It is times like these that I have to remind myself why we are doing this silly garden in the first place.
Because it's not exactly increasing our property value, or our esteem in the eyes of the neighbors. It is so we can care for something and watch it grow and be amazed and then eat it. And yes, it's so the kids will know that vegetables don't just come from the store. And because I'm too cheap to buy all those fresh herbs at the Farmer's Market, and too snobby to cook without them.
So Lucy has planned and purchased and planted right alongside me each year. And our rows are not straight and our lettuce is mixed in with the spinach and sometimes we weed a patch only to remember that those were probably the beans we planted mid-summer. NEVERTHELESS we have 5 very closely spaced, very tiny broccoli plants.
It is SO exciting to see those first leaves appear. Because, if you haven't figured this out by now, I am not a gardener.
I do not know what I am doing. My Magic 8 Ball is annoyingly vague. I have googled, I have asked, I have blindly planted.
As it turns out, not being good at something is a great way to make new friends. If you want to talk about gardening, I am a very rewarding listener. And let me tell you, lots of people around here want to talk about gardening. I have a lot to learn from them and I am extremely grateful and non-threatening. My friend Sue is a master gardener and has a tv show, for crying out loud. I cannot compete. Given the competency of most of my friends it is remarkable that I've attempted this at all. I have no shame, apparently.
I planted the sunflowers outside a couple days ago and they are not acclimating well at all. Not At All. In the back of my mind I prepare to say "good heavens, I've gone and killed something again." Although I hope I don't have to.
The broccoli is encouraging.
So we will continue to water all our little plants and sing them songs. And in the afternoon the 3 or 4 of us will report to the vegetable patch to root around with our size-specific trowels. And on nights like tonight we will harvest greens to go in the latest Asian Noodle Salad and feel extremely proud of ourselves.
And maybe when we're all in the garden, looking puzzled and waving our trowels around, we are actually increasing some kind of property value.