Monday, March 19, 2012

Flowers, Vegetables, and Scat

After an unbelievably mild winter (we saw just a few inches of snow, which is, of course, due to the fact that we finally bought a snow blower last summer), spring has arrived early here in central Iowa.

You know what that means:  Gardening!

I've been cleaning out and weeding the flower beds.  We've been out of town, so I've gotten all of two beds done, which means I still have what feels like miles of them ahead of me.  I'd like to get them done before our spring order of flowers comes in.  This year we've got a bunch of pink astilbe, some orange candleflower, jack-in-the-pulpit, and a couple succulents I'm going to try in a container.  When it warms up a bit I'll go ahead and fill in the flower baskets on our front porch.  One of these years I'll have my stuff together early enough to get some cool-season annuals in those- I love pansies and snapdragons- but this is not that year.

I confess that I have not planted any veggies yet.  I know, I know, this basically means I'm lazy and a horrible person.  I do have the vegetable patch about 70% ready for planting, and I've wrestled last year's Giant Sunflower out of there. My only goal for now is to get the lettuce in within the next few days.

I'd also like to try a small strawberry plant in a pot this summer, and if that goes well, perhaps start a strawberry patch next summer.  Our family has started going through around a quart of strawberries each evening at supper, and it's getting expensive.


While I love the way our flower beds look in the summer, there's something about them in the spring.  They're not much to look at from afar:




But up close, they're so... hopeful.





Our children have also been spending copious amounts of time outside, which is great for both their physical health and their mother's mental health, but also has it's drawbacks.

One day a couple weeks ago, I went out back to see what our older two children were up to.  Atticus beckoned me to him and asked, "Hey, Mom, you wanna see what's in my pocket?"

I was filled with instant trepidation, but answered in the affirmative.  "Sure, Bud."

"See?  It's a little ball."

I mastered my gag reflex when I saw the 'little ball' he'd had in his pocket, and managed to reply, "Bud, put that down.  It's not a little ball, it's rabbit poop."  

He paused to inspect it a little more closely before dropping it; Adelaide, on the other hand, instantly reached into her jacket pockets and pulled out two big handfuls of rabbit poop, throwing them onto the ground.

Then we all trooped inside and scrubbed our hands like we were prepping for surgery.


It's with those types of events in mind that I'm both excited- but also a little anxious- for what spring will bring this year.




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