Yesterday, I planted a garden in my backyard.
We're not doing much with our lawn, so we hoed out a pretty big chunk of it and tilled the dirt to make way for four rows of pumpkins and 18 strawberry plants that I had picked up at the nursery. It turned out, after doing the math on Saturday, that in order for the pumpkins to be ready for our wedding, they needed to be planted like, now.
You have to understand something about me, though, to understand why this is a big deal. Me and plants? Yeah, we don't get along. Which is a shame, because I totally LOVE plants. I mean, they're awesome, and beautiful.
But see, when I was a kid, my mom and my grandparents used to try to teach me how to take care of plants, and I failed. Every. Single. Time. I was the arboreal version of the kid that keeps overfeeding the goldfish it gets at the fair. You know, the one whose mom goes to the pet store every week trying to find a twin before the kid gets home from school.
I once even managed to kill a cactus. That's dedication, right there. It takes a LOT of not-watering to kill a plant that lives in the desert.
One time I planted marigold seeds in the backyard with my mom's help. They sprouted, grew, even flowered-- and then the dog dug them up.
So you can imagine how nervous I was to attempt something as bold as a garden. See, we have a yard-- front and back-- but I am extremely lucky in that my future father-in-law is retired, loves his son and me, and enjoys yard work. Extremely lucky. He takes care of the yard for us, so our house is surrounded by lush, green plants and gorgeous flowers. I'm secretly hoping he'll step in and correct any damage I might do by thundering around in there like Godzilla.
And I vow to be more careful, and look at pictures of pumpkin sprouts online so I don't accidentally pull them out as weeds. It's too early to tell if these new lives will make it with me around, but I'm excited nevertheless. It's been a dream of mine for a long time-- and especially ever since we bought the house-- to have a garden. To grow something from the ground and pick it and be able to say, hey, I grew that.
Now is usually the part where I bring it all back around to writing. But you know what? The gardening/ writing metaphor has been done to death. I think I'll just sit here, in my thoughts, thinking about big shady trees and green, green, green all around.
Feel free to use your imagination and give me your best gardening/ writing metaphor in the comments, though.