Whenever Jeff asks me what I’d like to do for Mother’s Day or for my birthday, my answer is always the same- to be in the garden with my family. In the past I never really considered myself a “gardener” per se (Jeff is the one in our home with the green thumb, and it looks like Bracken takes after him) since I didn’t feel like I knew very much about it and was the one who liked building plant beds, landscaping, and making the garden look pretty more than I spent time doing the actual work of “gardening.” But I have been doing it for enough years now to consider myself one and have graduated to the actual work of gardening. I consider myself a gardener now, not because I know a lot (I still feel like a newbie), but because I love it so much. Over the years I have found gardening to be essential to my well being. Our whole family feels that way. I had no idea it would become so important to me. The peace we feel in the garden is healing for all of us and balancing for our busy lives. We squeeze in a bit of gardening time each week, but it’s usually not enough to satisfy us. (I wonder how much that would be? We could live out there.) That’s why my answer is always the same when a special occasion comes around. Let’s head to the garden. My gardening guys are always more than happy to oblige.
The first pictures were from the last few weeks, and starting with the colander of red strawberries, the rest were taken yesterday. We spent hours in the garden yesterday and it was simply wonderful. We got a lot of weeding done. Our garden is more dry this year at this time than it’s ever been before, so we’ve been focusing on mulching and spreading compost to help with that. Jeff spread compost around most of the blueberries, we still have more to go. Recently we moved a bunch of strawberry plants to a new spot and yesterday we spread compost all around them too. I love when I have my camera at just the right moment to capture Jeff and Bracken working on a gardening project together, hands busy side by side.
My mom reminded me that she used to plant flowers every year on Mother’s Day. While I didn’t plant flowers (what a great tradition, maybe I’ll follow her lead and start doing that next year), I did plant a thyme plant and a catnip plant I had gotten at the farmer’s market the day before. I also bought strawberries and we brought them out to the garden and ate them up, since they don’t last long in the fridge. The strawberries in our garden are still green or white, but they’re on the way! And so are the blueberries. Little green, plump berries are on the blueberry bushes and my mind has gone towards bird netting. We won’t be able to afford to cover all the blueberries this year, but we’ve chosen a stretch of bushes that has the most berries on it to focus our efforts on for this year.
Oh, and our mason bees nearly filled up all the tubes we had, so we bought more and put them out there. We’re glad to see those clay filled tubes, meaning they are laying eggs in there. We love seeing bees in the garden and I adore the way they look when their back legs are all covered in pollen. (The bee pictured is not a mason bee, but I was delighted to capture it in the kale flowers.) I feel excited about the garden this year. We have a lot of plans and I feel like we’re getting things more organized, that things are falling into place.
Last year Bracken went around wishing everyone “Happy Mother’s Day” like you’d say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year.” When he was disappointed that I didn’t get him a present this year, I thought he wasn’t quite getting the concept again. ‘Maybe next year’, I thought. But he surprised me, and he understood more this year what the day was all about. He made me a card with his speech therapist and then made me two beautiful bouquets out of our garden, which I treasured. I am so grateful to be his mother. I consider it the greatest honor. And my own mother is one of the dearest people to me, the relationship I have with her is one of the most important ones in my life. I saw a quote recently that said “A mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take.”
I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day.