Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spring is here

It is that wonderful time of the year to break out the gardening gloves and tidy up the garden and plant some new babies to grow and flourish. There are very few things in my life that afford me the enjoyment I get from gardening. Tobey and the spawn are not so much into gardening and take every opportunity to make fun of my gardening skills.

Just between you and me they are full of it. Tobey complains the flowers die but hello, they are annuals and are only good for one blooming season. I know it is some merchandising scheme to have to plant annuals every spring but it is one scheme I gladly take part in. Same thing with the Black Friday Christmas shopping in November. While I may complain for the family's sake, secretly I love it.

A few things about our yard are somewhat unique to Florida and you folks not living in the Sunshine State should count yourself lucky. For starters we must address the front yard, or lack there of. Several years ago our neighbor to the left of us and the one across the street both had sink holes. One had their hole fixed and the other didn't, which is a scarey prospect for the future here. At the time, we thought we had a sink hole and the insurance company sent out a geology group that bored holes all over our property. Their findings? No sink hole but in the front yard the first 18 feet straight down is sand. Not too much grass grows in the desert and none grows in our front yard either. I just look at it as we have beach front property. Sort of. Just without the beachy part. Those of you who have grass and can run in your yard barefoot: I hate you. Not really. Sort of.

When I first moved in with Tobey and years before we fenced in the property, Tobey let the neighbor park a dilapidated car in the back yard. It took quite a while to get the neighbor to move the car, which had a tree growing out of it. I kid you not. We had to delay putting the last few fence panels up because he was not in a rush to get the car moved.

Now we have what Frodo has called a 'tropical oasis' in the backyard. It is my sanctuary however it has gotten too big for me to take care of myself and with my back being the way it is; I am unable to devote the time to the garden as I should. You would think the spawn would like to repay the fact that I carried them for 9 months by being excited to work in the yard. But no.

I love the fact that I have plants in the backyard that have meaning to me. I have a palm that I carried on the plane home from Chicago when my Grandpa Wagner died in 2001. I have the plant my mothers OB-GYN sent for her funeral in 2005. When Tobey's parents sold their home in 2006, I dug up some of his grandfather's plants and they are doing well in the back yard. So despite the family's groaning, the garden thrives and I am very proud of it.

Initially,when I started planting my annuals every spring, I would mainly plant marigolds. I remember planting and weeding marigolds in Grandma Wagner's yard and marigolds always make me think of that summer. But over the years I have discovered that marigolds just do not hold up in the Florida heat and drought conditions. Mostly I plant begonias because they are hearty and even though they are annuals, they last for years.

My mom loved to sit on the swing in the backyard and every time she would mention that I got my mad gardening skills from Granny Jackson. Here is a picture of Papa Jackson and a few of her plants. Granny had such a green thumb, poor Mom didn't. My brother once sent her a plant, I think it was a Christmas cactus, that she killed dead. When he came to visit she went out and bought a new one to replace it because she didn't want him to know she killed the poor thing. Someone told her to get a Christmas cactus to bloom you have to starve it from light. So she put it in one of the bottom kitchen cabinets and waited for it to bloom. Did I mention she never watered it or ever checked back on it's growing progress. Needless to say, I don't recommend that technique - mine is planted in the garden and still doing fine, light and all.

The wrought iron loveseat Papa is sitting on now sits in our back yard with the rest of Mom's wrought iron furniture. To know that the spawn are the 4th generation to sit upon that furniture just does something weepy to me. I know Granny would be proud. And maybe this post will guilt the spawn into raking the yard, pulling spanish moss off the trees and picking up dog poop this weekend. Remember: I carried all of ya'lls for 9 long months and don't make me blog about the birthing process (glares at Chewie, aka The Plug).



ahaha. Oh how i remember the summers and springs of you saying we are doing yard work! lol. Sadly i was never really excited either. perhaps I should be, especially now. I mean your not getting any younger and anytime I get to spend with my family is better than no time at all. I am very proud of our backyard I think its beautiful :)

Man, you make it sound like I am going to kick the bucket any moment! And TY - I am very proud of it too, minus the dog poop of course.

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