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Thursday, May 20, 2010

A green(ish) thumb.

I've always been intrigued by gardening.  Ever since reading The Secret Garden when I was in the second grade, I've always wanted my own "bit of earth," as Mary called it.  When I was nine years old, my parents gave my sister and me our own bits of earth.  We went to the local farm stand down the street and picked out the plants we wanted, and went home to plant them.  I chose a beautiful purple dwarf iris, some snap dragons, and catnip for our cat.  After that summer had passed, my garden quickly became the responsibility of my father.  I grew tired of watering it every night in the summer, wanting instead to enjoy every last minute of daylight playing with the neighborhood kids.  I still enjoyed seeing it bloom each year, watching how the plants grew heartier with each growing season, but I abandoned thoughts of adding new plants or weeding the existing ones. 

Currently, the garden has fallen by the wayside and nobody really cares for it.  My catnip is long gone (as is my cat, God rest his little soul), and the petite, purple dwarf iris that I had planted over a century ago has now taken over the whole garden, mutating into something that I never would have expected.  (Incidentally, my parents tried to uproot it one year and broke their shovel on the root structure; it's like Little Shop of Horrors.)  The other day, I was excited to see that between the stalky leaves of the iris were growing sweet lily of the valley.  I don't know where they came from, since I've never seen it growing naturally in my yard, but I was thrilled to discover it, and I hope they will survive and return next year.  Even though I abandoned the garden of my youth, I still love having plants around. 

Since moving to the city, I've started a very modest container garden that consists of a gardenia that I've coaxed blooms out of once and a hibiscus that has seen better days after I left it out one night during an early frost.  I've always wanted to grow my own herbs and vegetables, and although it's a bit late in the season, I think I may give it a whirl this year.  I've been inspired by these zinc window box planters from Crate & Barrel, and I think that I'll go after work and pick some up and start growing something in them this weekend. 

photos from here

I have no idea what I'll plant in them, but hopefully I won't lose interest before the weekend is over...
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