life in bedlam

Li’l Middle Earth Update

It’s now been four weeks since we installed our new garden beds, and 25 days since I planted. I’m astounded by the progress. We’ve had some sad news, however, just this morning. My first pinocchio pepper withered and dropped off the plant. It was less than a half inch long, but I was so hopeful! But mostly it’s been a very productive month.

This post will mostly be pictures for those of you who enjoy veggie garden porn. For those who don’t, you can skip ahead to the closing paragraph where I offer the deeper meaning behind my all-consuming obsession over my plants.

A reminder of what the garden looked like on May 28:

Same view today:

I know, right?

Some close-ups in no particular order:




Black Beauty Eggplant

Mesclun in foreground, green beans behind.


Golden Rambler Tomatoes

Black Krim Tomatoes


Opposite View With The Rear Of Our House

The peas are still fairly short but growing, and the sweet peppers, dill and basil are all also thriving so far. But I’ll save those for another post!

OK, so now the deep and meaningful stuff. The other day, as I wandered the garden with my coffee at 6am, checking for new growth, pulling weeds, chatting over the fence with my neighbor who was leaving for work, I started thinking about how all I think about is my garden lately.I harvested dill tonight and shoved it in my husband’s face. “SMELL!” I exclaimed. It’s not normal. It’s Garden Fever.

And I think part of this obsession is to do with the reward I get for the nurturing I put in. Any parent can tell you that even though having children is a pretty rockin’ thing to do, there isn’t a tremendous amount of appreciation for your toil, especially as you reach the tween and pre-teen years.

When they’re tiny, they rely on you for their every need. Every calorie, every waste removal, every bit of their sense of safety and comfort depends on the swift completion of your appointed rounds. Your reward in those days are the sweet smell of baby head, the squeeze of a teeny hand, the sighs and hiccups while they sleep. You’re exhausted, your ecstatic, you’re keeping the kid alive — you’re triumphant.

But now that the kids are fairly self-sufficient, those moments are harder to come by. Yes, I can look back on special moments and get that warm and special feeling that comes with knowing we were all really connected and working together, and that my efforts were recognized. Dinner at Boma and the fireworks on our first night at Disney. Eli’s uproarious puppet show today, written and performed with his father in the puppet theatre he and I built from chairs and linens yesterday.

But I can also just as easily access moments where all my hard work planning a vacation or a party or an afternoon walk have resulted in meltdowns, tears, and slammed doors. And sometimes, reader, to be honest, the bad times overshadow the good, and in my darkest moments, I wonder just a tiny bit if. Well, never mind.

But in my garden, in the early morning and at dusk, I see the progress that comes with attention to the soil, careful thinning, proper watering, and the right amount of sunshine.

I am happy to say that the kids are interested in the garden and helping out as well. Eli is my chief waterer, though admittedly the dollar per watering is a big part of that. Miles helped plant, and keeps a watchful eye on its progress. He’s anticipating my first pot of chicken soup with tons of dill.

Eli and I created an impromptu planter tonight and put a few seeds in to see what happens:

So, the garden gives me hope that even as the boys grow ever upward and eventually launch, they are gaining an appreciation for the work that goes into growing and nurturing living creatures. And that is what I’m growing in the garden of my mind.


5 comments on “Li’l Middle Earth Update

  1. attemptinggreen
    June 22, 2012

    I have those raised beds too!

    • hgkwiatek
      June 22, 2012

      The ones from Home Depot? They were the least expensive thing I could find that would assemble easily. One of the slats on one of the beds is a bit warped but otherwise they seem to be doing alright. I’m thinking of staining them at the end of the summer.

      • attemptinggreen
        June 22, 2012

        Yep. The price was just right and the easy assembly was a no brainer. One of our boards warped too. We pounded a couple of 1″ x 2″ by 2 foot stakes (also from Home Depot) in the ground to hold it straight. Works well so far. Stain sounds like a pain in the ass.

  2. Roz
    June 23, 2012

    Your comments about nurture and nature do connect with me and I do not even grow anything but that silly orchid on the porch.Yesterday I went outside to look at my flowers and the deer had eaten most of them…I was so sad as they were doing well. We will spray with that stuff to keep them away and try to save what they left and maybe buy a few more.Deer are a reminder of how little control we really have over things in life..BUT it is still worth the effort..I feel so lucky about how you all grew!!!

    • hgkwiatek
      June 23, 2012

      I love this comment, Mom! I’m sad about the deer eating your plants as well. I hope the spray works!

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This entry was posted on June 22, 2012 by in gardening, LUBlogTribe and tagged , , .

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