It has been a super-hectic, off-the-hook, crazy sort of spring. Turns out, even though he can now drive himself places, having a junior in high school is a lot of work. Ditto for the third grader, who has the added handicap of not being able to drive himself places. Not as much for the eighth grader at the moment, but that is due to change in the next two weeks, and he is likewise not driving.
About four weeks ago, I finally noticed these poor specimens sitting forlornly by the front door:
Lettuce plants I had purchased three weeks prior, and then completely neglected. Meanwhile, the tomato and eggplant seedlings my father had started for me were still down in the basement, where my oldest son had placed them after he noticed a frost warning—one week earlier. I had forgotten all about the poor things.
It seemed to be a sign.
It is not the year for a garden. We have travel plans, we have college visiting plans (in theory, but we still haven't worked them out yet, so we also have to planning to do for the college visiting plans), we have summer school plans, we have unbelievable-craploads-of-things-to-do-around-the-farm plans. Where on earth would I find the time to clear the garden? plant a garden? water a garden? weed a garden?
When I made the decision not to have a garden this year, it was as if a weight had fallen off my shoulders. It seemed to be a clear signal that I had made the correct decision, though I did find myself starting to cry when I went to pull last year's tomato cages out of the beds, so the sheep didn't get tangled up when we let them into the garden to graze. I gave myself a stern talking-to. No watering! No weeding! No despair when things got out of control or died from a drought or got eaten by a deer! I banished thoughts of the joy of seeing the plants grow outwards and upwards, of watching the little fruit take shape day by day, of harvesting the bounty at the perfect moment of ripeness, of being so self-satisfied that I almost burst.
I made the announcement the following night at dinner. I was expecting a sigh of relief from my vegetable-hating contigent. To my surprise, they reacted with dismay and disappointment and frank disbelief. As long as they can remember, we have had a garden. How could we not have a garden? How about just one bed? Or maybe just two?
I held firm. I remembered they were using the collective "we." I had no time for a garden. More importantly, I had no energy for a garden. I called my friend Val, who has a garden, and she came and picked up all the seedlings to plant in her garden. I was very regretful. I may have shed another tear or two. But I reminded myself of all we were neglecting as it was, and I held firm.
Last week, Secondo came to me with a resolute gleam in his eye. Could I please drive him to a local plant nursery? He wanted a garden, and he didn't care if he had to do it all himself.
I caved, though it's a measure of the state of affairs around here that it took me almost a week to get him to a nursery. Tomorrow, I will share pictures of his garden.