The story of the weekend is not one of high-drama, but rather a tale of 3 generations teaching each other things. Being the middle of the generations, I’m not sure I did all that much in the way of teaching, but I know we always have a lot to learn from Orlis. Then with Grandma in town for a visit, there’s her wisdom to carry us through a long weekend and then some. Especially when it comes to gardening.
For the purchasing of things, we split our dollars between Portland Nursery and Garden Fever — two distinct and delicious havens for all things green-thumb. We headed to both places on Saturday to suss out the possibilities and boy are they endless. It’s a shifty equation, this gardening business, with the quite vulnerable variables of light and water. There’s the planning and the pondering and the wanting-to-do-it-right philosophy that seeks to yield more than a few days of flowers or a handful of strawberries in a season. And then there’s the “plant it and try not to kill it” philosophy espoused by my friend Ric, who despite (or perhaps because of) his reckless meanderings in the soil, is one of the most successful gardeners I know. I’d say we sauntered in with a mix of the two.
Now, my mom, she is not afraid of a little shoveling. That woman can dig and weed like nobody’s business and with Orlis at her side sweeping up the excess and entertaining her with his “she loves me, she loves me nots” with the flower heads, we were in good spirits, and getting lots done. I sat a bit on the sidelines and gracefully planted an herb garden (always more fun when you pronounce the “h” like the Brits do) having bought all my favorites including a duo of mint only to realize my garden is already, in fact, covered in mint from previous planters. This is the kind of learning that just makes me giggle and understand what makes gardeners such a laughing, friendly breed. It’s probably because they drink a lot of mojitos.
So between naps and snacks, we (mostly she) dug and raked and piled rocks and got it all ready for a sprinking of colors and vegetables to come in good time. We ended our weekend with hot dogs on the grill and “real” potato chips (as my mom likes to call them) sore legs, and the satisfaction of dirt under our fingernails. She spoiled me silly, this Mama of mine, with her strong hands, her penchant for a nursery rhyme, and just the right mix of philosophies to make this garden grow. She did name me Mary, after all.