"Bed"-Time Stories: Chapter 1 ~ The Greening of My Thumb

I spent the afternoon of Mother's Day, appropriately enough, with my mother and my children, breaking ground for a garden. "Breaking ground" here is used euphemistically to mean hacking away at a patch of wildly overgrown ground cover, turning formerly grass-girded earth into hospitable soil, and forming two petite but reasonably nice-sized beds in which to plant a few (hopefully) food-bearing plants.

I'm not sure what got into me. Perhaps it is the simple fact that prices rise every time I cross the threshold of the grocery store, and the more I know about eating locally, the more I like it (and you can't get more local than your own backyard, I always say).

At any rate, I happened to conversationally mention to my mom that I was thinking of "putting in a small garden" this summer. My mom is in possession of two green thumbs and a full complement of matching viridian digits, so when she showed up at my door with a flat of seedlings, garbed in her gardening clothes, I wasn't surprised.

I can't say that I'm much of a gardener. I enjoy my berry bushes, and my potted herbs, and my pretty little Meyer lemon tree, which lives on a sunny windowsill in my dining room. But as far as operations in the wild that call for sod busting, full-on contact with insects and their larvae, and a little something called "back-breaking physical labor" go, I'm ill-equipped. But game. So, armed with my brand-spanking-new washable suede garden gloves (no touching those grubs that live in the soil, thank you very much), my shovel, and my mom, I commenced to turn an ugly and overgrown patch of straggly pachysandra into an optimistic-looking little garden plot.

So far, I've put in Early Girl tomatoes, green bell peppers, eggplants, and bush beans. I'm taking a trip to the nursery tomorrow for some herb plants and anything else that strikes my fancy and can be successfully cultivated by your average 6-year-old. I'll keep you posted.

If I'm not mistaken, I think my thumb might actually be taking on a slightly greenish tinge. Of course, it could just be a spider bite.


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