a little something something in the backyard

by ALLISSA on June 28, 2011

Orange Lily

Sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day to do the things I really want to do. You know, like read. I can see you rolling your eyes, but seriously. There’s no time to read. I was winding my way through a bookstore the other day and found a handful of biographies and memoirs that I’d love to read and pour over and wrap into myself. I should have bought them, brought them home, stacked them in the office and told them to wait for me, but I left them behind, knowing I wouldn’t touch them for weeks, maybe months, because – in case you haven’t noticed – it’s summer.

I bet there are some people to tend to slow down in summer months, but I’m not one of them. Instead, my life intensifies. I’m outdoors, I’m running, I’m pushing dirt in flower beds, I’m going to concerts, I’m dodging night sweats and dreaming of Saturdays. I’m going non-stop. That’s not a bad thing, but it doesn’t leave a lot of time to unwind, so there are days when I wish I could stay home from June through August. Take the dog for a walk. Drink a mug of chai. Work from home. Get a pedicure and save these desperate feet from further embarrassment. Then spend the late afternoon doing the things I really want to do, all of those summer-time activities that people in my part of the state can’t normally do between the months of October and April. (Don’t make me list them. It depresses me and makes me want to move.)

Now, as another month slips by and we head deep into summer days, I’m thankful that I took time this year to do something different, something that brings summer a little closer to my doorstep, even on the days when I work later than normal and get an hour to myself late at night when the sky is blue-black.

Readers, I’ve been keeping a secret. I planted a garden this spring and the plants are NOT DEAD yet. I know. I can’t believe it either.

This garden of ours, you should know, is not a traditional garden because, unfortunately, our backyard is the size of my thumbnail. So we (and when I say we, I usually mean he) built a six-foot-long container from vinyl material, painted it  “red velvet” (ooh la la) and planted tomatoes, basil, butter crunch lettuce and sweet red peppers. Of course, being novice farmers, we planted the little darlings much too close to one another, so now we have a tangle of limbs and flowers and fruit all intertwining and making it difficult to harvest a single thing. We bought too many plants, so the remainders went into clay pots and Home Depot buckets and an empty plastic peanut container.

Red Planter

Red Planter with Vegetables

Backyard Garden Against Fence

Tomato

Baby Pepper

Cucumber Plants

Backyard Basil Leaves

Backyard Buttercrunch Lettuce

Planter and Containers

Ah, mistakes. No matter. We harvested our first lettuce leaves a few weeks ago and I’m happy to report that it tasted so good, so fresh. Nothing like slipping on the flip-flops and trotting out the door and ’round the corner for some produce.

It’s still early for the peppers and the cukes, but we already have one perfectly round, red, ripe tomato waiting for us, with many (too many!) others to follow. Homemade pasta sauce, anyone? I am envisioning lots of delightful meals, prepared in part from the goods in the garden. Grow, little veggies, grow.

Ripe Tomato

Backyard Garden

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