Getting started in the garden

Friday was gorgeous here in Seattle.  It was a taste of spring, for sure.  Wyatt and I spent much of the day outdoors -- on a walk around Green Lake with friends and then in our garden at home.

We planted peas, radishes, spinach and arugula today. I know, it's really early, but around here peas could go in in the fall if they wouldn't rot! We'll see how quickly they come up.  I've put my toasty grower to work in our new raised beds to help things along.  It's going to be a good gardening year, I can feel it.

Wyatt and I had such a good time getting our hands in the dirt -- for me, the first of the season and for him, the first time ever.  I hope he likes spending time in the garden with me as he grows up.  It's one of my favorite places, and I want it to be that for him, too.

I have fond memories of watching my dad in the garden, and gardening with him when I was a little girl in Western North Carolina.  I remember having a little plot of my own within our family garden.  One year, I chose the space directly under a big apple tree -- because it was shady, of course.  I preferred not being too hot while I gardened.  That year I think I tried to grow watermelons.  Needless to say, it didn't work out so well.  We did discover a box turtle laying her eggs in a hole in my apple-tree-garden that year, however.  We carefully dug them up, put them in an aquarium filled with soil and sand, added a spy hole (i.e. toilet paper roll) into the eggs, and watched them all winter long until they hatched in the spring.  Five perfect little box turtles emerged from those soft shelled eggs.  I remember that we painted the turtles' shells with letters -- one each -- L-O-V-E and X (we didn't have a sixth turtle for the O).  We set them free, but never saw them again.  When I think about it, I spent a good chunk of time in the summers in our vegetable gardens.  Those many different patches of dirt that my family cultivated are full of memories for me.

Today, I introduced Wyatt to gardening.  We worked together to get the pea seeds out of the bag  (the seeds in the bag sound pretty cool when you shake them so it's debatable whether one should remove them at all) and lined them up in rows -- or, as Wyatt preferred to do it, in little piles.  He also had to try to eat one but spit it out because it was too hard (luckily he isn't into pushing things into his nose yet . . .).  In any case, we used our fingers to push the seeds down into the newly cultivated soil until we couldn't see them any more.  Wyatt found this great fun.  He looked at me, smiled, and laughed with every seed he pushed under ground.  I was impressed he could use that little index finger with such precision.  I think he was impressed with himself too.

He did some exploring on his own while I weeded and cultivated other beds, preparing them for different seeds.  I saw him sift handfuls of dirt through his fingers.  He ate a little.  He tasted the hand shovel.  He tasted the wood chips on the paths.  He chased the cat and found the moon in the sky.  He kept walking out of his boots (because they are a size too big for him), and occasionally, I'd find him sitting down and unable to get up without help.  So I'd pull him up by his arms and off he'd go, holding on to the edge of a garden bed.

I think I will remember today for a long, long time.


  1. Melts my heart, and makes me want to get out of the city and plant a garden with Oliver! Sadly, there are a lot of good and not-so-good reasons why that will not happen anytime soon. But, it is the time shared together that is most important, and I am so glad you two are able to share this special hobby/passion together. Love the photo of his little dirty hands:-)

  2. When you guys come out this summer, I'm sure there will be gardening to do and you and O can get your hands dirty in our garden with us. :)


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