put me in your suitcase

Spring is almost in the air. Today the temperature was in the 40s, and I felt hopeful. While walking downtown I spotted a couple tiny flowers poking through the mulch and I realized that winter is almost over, and I actually smiled at the thought.
When walking Rufus around the neighborhood, with the baby asleep on my chest, I thought out loud about the garden this year, and my excitement grew. I recited to myself the things I want to grow: tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, spinach, lavender, strawberries. Maybe broccoli, maybe potatoes.
We arrived home, I let Rufus off his leash and brought Finn's bouncy chair outside. I sat Finn down, wrapped up in a blanket, and I started measuring the front flower beds. They are the beds we've grown tomatoes and basil in for two years. Last year Sean (he used to live upstairs) and I gardened, the year before Sean and his friend Phil tended the garden. This year I will be without Sean, but I won't be alone. I have Gen, Mimi, Natalie and Luke who are all interested in helping garden. A real community garden! I hope that they all want to help weed occasionally and help water, but I plan on taking full responsibility (more or less) for the garden, since it's in my front yard. They will surely help me reap the harvest.
I took "before" pictures of our beds. Dormant, sleeping, readying for the spring.

I kicked around the mulch (dry leaves from late fall) and found a ton of pill bugs in the soil. It kind of grossed me out because of the sheer number of them, in general insects do not bother me, so I researched online whether they are a problem for gardeners. It seems that they like strawberries and tender plant shoots the best. I found some good advice on controlling them.

In this last month before planting, I relish the thought of planning. Choosing and ordering seeds, drawing out a plan. Figuring out when to plant what. Learning about organic pest control, watering, sun and shade. Contemplating moving the compost into a container so that we'll have those extra square feet to plant food. Oh, and as always, trying to get the invasive spearmint out of the beds and into a pot instead. I don't know who planted that ridiculous plant, but it will not die.
These are the only things I pulled out today - a tiny dandelion shoot and it's root, and these sprigs of spearmint, so help me.

Not entirely true - I pulled out the spearmint roots, too. As many as I could grab.
After coming back inside, I noticed how different I felt - refreshed, downright cheerful. And all I did was dig around a little in the mulch and pull up some roots. Just getting out there, smelling the dirt helped clear my mind. I am praying for success with our little garden this summer, and for growing relationships along with spinach, lavender and strawberries.


natalie said...

Lavender?! YES!

& of course we'll be helping you with the hard stuff- pulling up weeds, watering, etc. etc.

Also, Luke & I are going to a garden store this week & buying some potting soil. So, how much do you think we'll need? We can cover the expenses :)

& it would be so awesome if we could sit down & plan out the garden together! Just collaborate... also, so Luke & I could learn more about the planting process!

natalie said...

Scratch the potting soil... unless we want to grow the plants from pots before planting in the ground...

Tori said...

oh, how exciting!
I wish i was around to participate!

it's so exciting that you're growing lavender! Iit's at the top of my list for herbs i want to grow this summer ever since i became obsessed with the idea of making oils & tinctures about a year ago!

well good luck to you guys!

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