I've always liked the idea of having a garden and tending to plants. In our old apartment I had several pots out on the porch in which I'd plant pretty flowers, then I'd forget to water them, and they'd die. Sometimes I managed to bring them back, but most of the time they just died. In Geneva our place came with an already-landscaped garden that bloomed pretty flowers without us having to do anything other than water it occasionally (when it went more than a few days without raining... didn't happen that often). I still tried making flowers grow in small pots so that our home could be like the others in the village with the traditional window boxes full of blooms, but alas I once again failed miserably.
When we moved to our current house a little over 6 months ago now, we noted this stretch of dirt that could be turned into a nice garden. For a while we didn't do much with it-- we were busy setting up the inside of the house, and besides that area didn't get any direct sun so we weren't sure what to plant there. Zach did start growing some herbs (parsley, cilantro, oregano) in a planter, and we got a rosemary plant as a gift, and we've managed to keep all of these alive somehow. Then recently I got the "gardening bug", a desire to try out my hopelessly un-green thumb yet again. I had hope for one reason-- I now have a toddler, who requires daily trips Outdoors, and if we're gonna hang out outside it's much easier to remember to water our plants. Not to mention my motivation to get him involved, to get him enjoying nature and the outdoors even if only while tending to plants a few steps from our front door.
So this is the beginning of our garden. On the left are canna lillies. The big one was growing when we first moved in, the others either migrated over from the neighbors' yard (they have several growing just on the other side of that fence) or are ones that Zach planted from the bulbs that neighbors gave us. Then Zach took 2 plastic pots and planted peas, I think, in them. Then beyond that are the 2 plants I got over the weekend, one is a hosta and the other... I need to write down the name b/c I never remember. But they're both supposed to be strong, hearty, and happy in full shade. In the very back bit there are some of these:
Teensy little nasturtiums I planted from seed a couple weeks ago. I didn't think they'd make it, but then all of a sudden there they were. There's a few more, growing quickly, and I also pkanted some out front that have started growing. I'm curious to see what will come of them, I'm quite proud that they've made it this far already.
Here's our rosemary, which we should at some point transfer to a larger pot, I suppose, and our new tomato plant that we got around Easter. Already it's at least twice the size it was when we got it, if not more. It's amazing how quickly plants grow. We bought the trellis from this guy we saw at the farmer's market on Sunday, who makes stuff out of discarded wood scraps (behind the tomato and rosemary is D enjoying some water play, and behind him is the planter that holds Zach's growing herbs).
I'm such a novice at all this that it just feels cool to plant something and actually watch it grow. I also love how interested D is in all of it already. Every time I grab my watering can, he goes and gets his small one and wants water in it, too. A few times I've taken out this little hand-rake tool thing to dig out rocks that are embedded in the dirt, and he'll come over and want to have a turn. I hope I can keep this up and learn more as I go, just so I can give him this experience. There's not many things I feel certain about as a parent, and I so frequently question my choices and decisions, but there's one thing I feel pretty sure that we are, and will continue, doing right-- by helping take care of a garden, and also going on frequent hikes with Zach, I hope we will instill a sense of appreciation and respect for nature and all living beings.