following along with lovehappydaily‘s Every Day in May blog prompts. Today’s prompt:Invite someone to guest post for you.
When I saw that today’s prompt would be to invite a guest poster, I immediately thought of Jess. Jessica S. Frank is a poet and a journalist, who is working on her first novel. She is also a wife, and a mother to three hilarious children. She and I have been friends since elementary school. I hope you enjoy what she has to say, and please check out her blog to read more of her beautiful writing.
Both of my grandmothers loved flowers. I know a lot of grandmothers do. It’s kind of a grandmotherly thing to like. One grandmother lived on a farm in North Carolina and would get the almost-dead plants from the local store and revive them back to life in her greenhouse. The other lived between New York and Chicago, and was part of things like the Glenview Roses Club and subscribed to Better Homes and Gardens.
I am not a grandmother, not for 20 more years, at least (you hear that, children), but I seem to have this thing in common with that segment of the population. Every year, when the Wisconsin slush finally recedes, I am at Home Depot or our local greenhouse, picking out the varieties for my hanging baskets, stock-piling seeds, and waiting until Mother’s Day to plant.
We had flowers and stuff when I was growing up. Okay, we had landscaping. We never had a vegetable garden or grew anything that wasn’t in 2-D schematics next to our patio. But I remember even then trying to plant things…cucumbers, carrots, sunflowers. Once, I even bought a wildflower mix and threw it in the back yard. Later that summer, my mother asked just how much I paid for the weeds that were now growing along her stone sculptures.
My husband and I bought a house 9 years ago. I was 6 months pregnant with our second son, but I was out here in the June heat, trying to spruce up the joint with some Impatients in two planters. The next year, I dug out a patch of our back lawn over the course of a month and tried a vegetable garden. It looked like I was digging a grave.
Every year, through feast and famine, I did something to make my outsides sing. Just a little here and there. So now, I have something beautiful to look at during the summer. Plants are growing, multiplying, and maturing. My knowledge of such things is doing the same.
Every morning, I am up watering my plants like an old lady. I have eight hanging baskets, five large planters, some smaller pots on my patio, and various bushes, bulbs, flowers, and seeds I’ve acquired along the way. I bought some raised planters last week and got to work with each of those, putting in a total of 50 cubic feet of dirt. I planted all of my seeds last Sunday; today, I saw most of them poking through.
(My son called my new vegetable garden the “Museum of things I won’t eat.” I have green beans, red peppers, two different kinds of lettuce, zucchini, summer squash, spaghetti squash, sunflowers, and a few pumpkins. Sorry honey, I can’t find that Cinnamon Toast Crunch seed packet yet.)
Last summer, after a week away, I was on the phone with a friend as I pulled up to the house. “Oh no,” I sighed. “No one watered my flowers.” My friend laughed at me and said it was such a weird thing to hear someone my age complain about. I guess I’m an old soul. But he was right. I have had zero conversations with my peers about how our gardens are coming along. Ze-ro. But that’s okay. I’m content with myself and my old lady hobbies. I am my own validation. That, and my haul of homegrown veggies in about a month.
I took down the old gravesite garden, but want to keep the strawberries. My husband walked past this today and said, “I don’t even want to ask what you’re doing here.