gardness progress

i'm not much of a green thumb, but i'm trying to learn. gardening, like sewing and baking, is a domestic skill somehow both incredibly practical and really cool. our old, and very much missed, housemate mary, has a natural ease in the garden, and taught me some basic and important things while she lived here and toiled to make our backyard a green, colorful oasis. she didn't always teach me things by talking them out, or showing me step-by-step instructions...it was more a process of osmosis. i watched, and occasionaly helped, her work out there and saw that you don't need fancy tools, gloves, or soil. she would sow seeds in all kinds of salvaged containers (think old sinks and tires), dig around with slotted spoons and water the seedlings with an iced tea pitcher. she wasn't scared to experiment, yet she worked with purpose. she didn't project the anxiety that i've felt forever about killing the plants or wasting her time. she just made it seem manageable and fun.

as a result of her labor, and the small tasks that lauren and i have been doing to maintain the garden, things are really growing this spring! all the herbs - chives, rosemary, mint and tarragon - re-seeded and promptly exploded into a tangled bouquet that we use in almost everything we cook. red and orange tulips line the front of the flower bed, and the day lillies are just getting ready to do their thing.

best of all is this bizarre beauty that i have no recollection of from last year. anyone know what this flower is called?

i am going to try to do my part to keep the house garden blooming. i planted some tomato seedlings, sowed some basil, carrot, and assorted flower seeds, bought an oregano plant yesterday from the fruit truck, and hope to get a hot pepper seedling, too. maybe nothing will grow, maybe my unskilled touch will be the touch of death. but you know what? i'm going to go for it anyway. if anyone has any tips or suggestions, i'm all ears.



Taylor said...

That's a Dicentra spectabilis, or commonly called a Bleeding Heart. Don't get all freaked out when it turns yellow and disappears in the summer - it only hangs out for the spring and beginning of summer.

Mary Casper said...

Yes a bleeding heart! I bought it last summer, a perennial for you future generations. There should be a couple other "surprises" lurking around there too, as I recall. My gardening tip of 2009? Plant arugula from seeds. It grows fast, even in containers and it's very hearty! xoxo

Anonymous said...

This post makes me smile.