Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It always seems like a good idea….at first, anyway

The summer garden.   I have a love/hate relationship with it. 

You see, it’s a lot of hard work.

In the beginning, as the weather becomes warmer, the kids and I start making a plan for what we want to grow…tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon, eggplant, green beans, herbs?  The choices are endless.

Once we’ve made our decision on what to plant, we put our plan into action. 

Normally, we’ve grown all our plants from seeds but due to the immense amount of guilt I feel when forced to thin out all the growth, I made the call to go with plants and avoid the hassle of seeds. 

We hit the store one day to pick all our plants out. 

People, this is an experience in and of itself…taking the 4 mini spawn to any store is hardly the highlight of my day.  It’s not unusual for a total stranger to stare at them lovingly, commenting, “They are absolutely precious”….and then look away in horror when those same “precious” children pull one another’s pants down and attempt to smell each other’s asses.

So yeah…we’re at the store, sorting through the various vegetable and fruit plants.  In less than 10 minutes, I’ve threatened them, I’ve pleaded with them, I’ve yelled at them.

Oh yes, people.  I am that mom at Home Depot, desperately telling her kids, “If you all don’t stop hitting one another and start behaving, I will leave you here and throw myself into oncoming traffic”. 

20 minutes later,  we’re walking out of the store….the kids have their plants, I have a massive migraine and people are staring at us, as if they’re fully expecting to see Supernanny and her camera crew trailing behind us. 

After arriving home, I’m way too wiped out to do any kind of gardening….well, that and the thought of spending any more quality time with the spawn makes me want to pull my hair out…one by one, by the root.

A few days later,  the plants are threatening to die off if we don’t get them in the ground soon so a-gardening we will go.

However, two of the spawn have since decided they are SO over the whole gardening thing.  It must be that lack of instant gratification….plus, plants can’t spit back at you so where’s the fun in that?

Let me introduce you to the two spawn who were more than happy to assist me in planting our 2011 Summer Garden….

Here’s Landon….properly equipped for a day of fun in the sun, becoming one with nature as he grows his very own greens.  He’s ready to dig in and garden. 


And here’s Bella….completely unequipped for a day of fun in the sun.  Yes, she looks pretty darn cute wearing her cool shades but take a look at her feet.  When’s the last time you saw someone gardening in high-heeled sandals, besides Brie on Desperate Housewives?


Whatever.  It was so not worth arguing with her….and, let’s face it, I need all the free help I can get so I wasn’t about to nit-pick the fact that she insisted on wearing inappropriate gardening apparel.

After emptying two huge bags of garden soil into our little side yard area, we spread the soil where it needs to be and begin to dig holes for our plants.  All the while, Bella is loudly whining about how gross the dirt feels squished between her toes.

I explain, “Well, I told you not to wear open-toed sandals”.

She shrugs her shoulders and replies, “Yeah but I wanted to look cute while I garden.”

And who can argue with that?



Before I know it, one of the spawn has traded in gardening for hanging out on the swing set with his brothers….but not before ripping a hole in one of my window screens with the handle of the shovel.

I have no idea how much it’ll be to repair it but, what the hell…it’s only money.  And apparently, the spawn are under the assumption that we’ve planted a money tree somewhere in our yard.



While I’m inspecting the hole in the screen, another one of the spawn grabs my camera and shouts, “I’m going to take a picture of you Mommy….smile!!”


Fortunately, I was having a good hair day.  Aren’t I absolutely stunning?!

No, that’s not a mistake.  That is indeed a picture of me, except I’m on the ground and not in the sky.   The kid can’t aim a camera to save his life but the thought and effort was certainly appreciated.

Finally….FINALLY…the plants were all in the ground, where they should be.   Zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, eggplant, watermelon, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Our summer garden is good to go.


And just as I’m about to call out to the spawn, “Okay, who’s ready to help me clean up all the gardening supplies?”, I notice I’m all by myself.

They are nowhere to be seen, conveniently.  Until I hear a little voice coming from the family room window, “Hey, Mommy, did you know there’s a hole in this screen?”


Like I said already, the summer garden….I have a love/hate relationship with it. 

Is it easy to see why?


Kimberly said...

Ha! Currently in my garden there as approximately 3 naked GI Joes, a dozen burried dinkie cars and weeds. Le sigh.
Your kids are rocking their shades.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Our garden is HUGE and my husband declared he wasn't having anything to do with it, after he decided it was too rocky and in the wrong location (he picked the location). I guess this is his lame way of getting out of the daily weeding and thinning. I'm tempted not to share come dinnertime...

I hope you get more help than me with yours! ;-)

Kakunaa said...

Your garden is the size of my entire yard, LOL. I am using topsy turvy's and hoping I didn't dump over $100 into what ends up being nothing. Good luck!

FRANNIE said...

We 'patio garden' in large pots and hope for the best, we mostly plant herbs and tomatoes, otherwise the wildlife would be enjoying it more than we would. :)

Charlene said...

I have plants ready and haven't planted them yet...I need to get to it, they are starting to wilt.

I have so many broken things around here it's so not funny. I live in a nice neighborhood and my house looks like one from a crack street or something...kids are hard on houses, aren't they?

Colleen said...

You're so good taking on a garden. I have tiny little seeded pots growing in front of my face in the window sill at my kitchen sink. I'm at that sink 16 times a day and those little seedlings are still struggling. I only seem to see them when they are sticken with drought.
"A" for effort on at least trying to include the kids. We all know how that goes!

Natalie said...

I so love the fact that she wore heels to garden...you've got a little diva on your hands...I mean b/c she's got to look good while gardening! :)

Evonne said...

My kids were so excited to plant the few seeds we had - strawberries and peppers. By the end, I was the one covered with dirt while they were chalking up the sidewalk.

I have a hole in one of my screens,too, made by a little boy. Every time I try to fix it, he manages to rip it again.

singedwingangel said...

I got a giggle out of this.. I garden barefooted if I can get by with it lol. She is too cute and I LOVE your hair in the picture..

Heather said...

But you get an A for letting your kids help. My husband will hardly let ours go into the backyard for the whole season they damage one of his precious jalepenos!

Mellisa Rock said...

I'm trying gardening for the second time this year. Last year was a utter failure from seeds. I went with plants this year too. I'm crossing my fingers that something comes of it. This post was wonderful - I am that mom most of the time too. 4 against one is never very pretty.

Eva Gallant said...

That Bella! She knows where it's at! Important to look cute while gardening! Love it!

Heather said...

Bella cracks me up! She and Noly would get along so well ;)

Holly said...

I'm still way impressed with you. And for some reason, I keep hearing in my head your previously blogged words that gardens take up lots of time in the summer.... Lots of time when kids "have nothing to do...."

Jen said...

Let me just say, I totally feel your pain. I planted flowers today, with all my kids.

Yeah, I know your love/hate relationship.

Twins Squared said...

I love this post!! Your picture definitely brought a smile to my face - except you look a little heartless in it.

Love Bella's shoes, though I understand her, I would kill her - those shoes are much too pretty! But you gotta love her fashion-sense!

Love the picture of Landon! He looks just precious all ready to go.

I love the IDEA of a garden, but I'm not sure I'll ever pull one off. I'm so NOT domestic and I don't have a green thumb. But still I think I want to try it sometime.

Rhiannon said...

hahaha love it! last thing i want to do is give my son any gardening tools! and i just love that your daughter is in heals!
keep it real!

shortmama said...

Id help you out in the garden if I could reap its rewards! Gardening in this heat of the desert is pretty pointless...plus we live on a giant rock pile, so unless I want to grow rocks Im out of luck

Jenn said...

We did our first garden this year, and wow, what a chore! :) And for the record- you can tell Miss Bella that there is a crazy girl in Missouri who gardens in heals! I go out and water (and pull weeds) every morning before work, and often I'm 'all dressed up'. My husband think's its so funny to see me in heals- tell her wedge heals is what you need, they don't sink into the ground! haha! We had to thin the cucumbers over the weekend, and my husband got sad, saying it was 'mean' to plant something just to rip it up. He wanted to know if we could transplant them to another part of our garden! I look forward to seeing your garden grow. Here's a link to my other blog (just starting) that is full of garden info) http://5457whisperinghills.blogspot.com/

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Well, you just inspired me not to plant this year :)! It did make for a cool post though! Especially the part of them at the store ..sniffing...

Shell said...

I would like a summer garden where it was just me in the garden and a magical fairy came to take care of my kids.

Or maybe I could just fasten the enclosure on the trampoline on the outside so they can't get out...

Miss Em said...

Helene, did anyone tell you that you have a whole in your screen??? Only messing! Looking hot in that photo I must say, blue really brings out your eyes! Does your husband know you are posting hot pictures of yourself online?! (Great post, always makes me giggle!) xxx


HoneyDame said...

LMAO.... I have sooo missed reading your posts. My mum tried that on us several years ago. A similar story to yours (depending on who you ask). Except the plants were some very Nigerian vegetables;. They served us well while they lasted tho

Mrsbear said...

You must love gardening...or compromising your sanity for the sake of homegrown veg. Or both. Here's to a bountiful crop. And no more Home Depot visits till 2020.

I like when the dirt squishes between my toes. ;)

The Mother said...

My herb garden is neglected and dying. I never realized how much time it took until I didn't have the time to give it.

Anonymous said...

I hate the garden more than I love it. So we dont do one anymore. Plus I pretty much kill plants, so it was kinda pointless.

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

This is hysterical. We did one this year from seedlings and I don't even bother thinning out b/c I feel like I'm killing babies...so, I have huge clumps of vegetables in my garden...half of which I don't even know what they are b/c I lost the little sticks while just trying to get them in the dirt after 3 days of no water.

Yup...my green thumb is a tad less green than yours!

Di said...

My summer garden consists of tomatoes the hubby planted in an aquarium. I talk about planting one but when I can't even keep up with the dishes its safe to say my produce will be purchased.

My yard does however have tools, flower pots, chairs, and other decidedly non plant things growing in it.

This Daddy said...

We started our garden again a few weeks ago. We made it bigger than last year and planted more stuff too. Rock on and Garden on lady. Hope you and Tim are enjoying each other and getting ready for a great summer with the kids

Dysfunctional Mom said...

I started with seeds this year and learned my lesson. Next time I'm springing for plants!
Your daughter reminds me so much of mine! ANY excuse to dress up. She wears a uniform to school, and as soon as she gets home she throws on a dress, heels, and makeup. It's insane!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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