Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"don't wake me I plan on sleeping in"

the food: garden variety
the song: "Sleeping In" The Postal Service

I've been silent lately about the status of my garden. Quite frankly, it's something I'm not all that proud of right now. I haven't been fawning over it, taking pictures and writing it love letters because I don't want to get too attached. Well...I've maybe taken a few pictures.

My garden has been going strong (more or less) for one year. But it's hot out there. Really hot. My garden right now looks ok, but not great like it did this time last year. So I've decided this year, I'm not going to push it. Anything that keeps going on it's own I'm happy to nurture, but when it gets too hot, I'm going to let it go. I'll save my water for the pool, thank you very much. Besides, soil needs time to rest, too. Summer is the absolute perfect reminder of that. My garden is trying to tell me that it is tired, and it is my job to listen.

Something I've discovered about myself in the past year is that for me gardening in the means to an end. I'm not a gardener, I'm a cook. Now don't get me wrong- I adore my garden. It makes me so happy to see tomatoes ripening and pick my first cucumber of the summer (as I did Sunday morning). I love seeing delicate squash blossoms first thing in the morning when I'm getting in my car to drive to work. I love the work of the garden-getting my hands dirty, always having something to do. But my yard is far from perfect. My motivation comes from knowing it is something I can eat. I'm not a "look how green and lush my yard is" braggart. I'm more of a "hey...you like that food, don't you? I grew that!" braggart.

FACT: You can't eat grass*. Yes, green yards are pretty and make the house look nice and sometimes I get the idea that I'll try to grow something not edible. I plant flowers and dote over them for a few days. Then I get bored and stop doting and they die. The best decision I've made regarding landscaping has been to get plants that are ultra tough and independent. I recently filled in a flower bed with sedums, and they are doing well despite my neglect. Our century plants are awesome and making their own little agave colony. My aloe is doing great (although I have managed to kill one of those, too).

I would love to be the type of person with an overall green thumb. It would be wonderful to have a pretty, serene yard filled with living things, some edible, some just for looks. I envy yards that pull that off. Maybe one day. For now I'm going to be happy with what I've got and spend this summer focusing on rest as an equally important part of life.


*Very oddly, "can humans eat grass" was the third thing that came up in the suggested google searches when I typed in "can humans eat." It comes in right below raw meat and dog food. Isn't that weird...and kinda awesome?

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