Friday, June 11, 2004

Given my recent trepidation regarding the mowing of our lawn, you might have accurately guessed that I have absolutely zero love for grass. Perhaps it dates back to our time in Charlottesville, when my husband carried on a weekly affair with our one-acre lawn. Fred spent hours each weekend of the warmer months watering, mowing, edging, fertilizing. He even wore a weighted rucksack while pushing the mower around so that it would be a "real workout." I begged him in vain to at least take it off when he worked near the street, lest the neighbors should suspect what I already knew to be true--my husband has a chronic grass addiction.

I'm sure our current lawn care standards would give poor Fred heart palpitations. We aren't watering, and we aren't fertilizing. We aren't edging, and we aren't mowing underneath the trampoline. And--don't read this part, Fred--we sure as heck aren't bagging the clippings! There's a new regime in this town, and it wasn't elected on a lawn-friendly platform.

Considering my lack of warm fuzzies where the grass is concerned, it amazes me to realize that I have become somewhat of a plant slut. Over the past year, I've yet to meet the plant that I can say no to, especially if it puts out flowers. (I just love a plant that puts out, don't you?)

I spent the month of May getting my summer plants in place, and I'm afraid I'm still not done. The more I plant, the more plants I see that I still want, and the more spaces I find in the yard where I could cram in "just one more." I am like a lapsed Atkins dieter at Krispy Kreme when I go to the garden departments at Walmart or Bauhaus.

Here are some scenes from my yard, which I shot this morning. This is the right side of the front of the house:

The 2 hanging plants in the middle are strawberries. Here's a closer look:

And here's an even closer look:

This is the left side of the front:

We used to keep the wrought-iron table and chairs on the balcony behind our bedroom, but we never sat out there. I like it much better in the front.

Here's a shot of the left side from a slightly different angle, which better shows the geraniums in flower pots behind the table:

This is a closeup of my bag of petunias:

Planting that sucker was 6 different kinds of fun. My plants were a bit too large to fit through the openings in the bag, so first Fred and I performed surgery on the bag with a knife to enlarge the holes. Then I stuck my hand in the bag and out the hole, while Fred handed me each plant with its roots as smooshed together as possible. I grabbed the roots and puuuuuuuuuulled them through, added more dirt to bag, and repeated the process.

While I was outside this morning taking pictures of my plants, I became fascinated by a bee who was equally fascinated with my geraniums:

There are more photos showing the many moods of Mr. Bee here and here.

Here is a picture of a tree in my side yard that is currently covered with the most amazing smelling blossoms. If you look hard, you can kind of see my doomed impatiens in the background:

On to the back yard! Annabelle wanted a vegetable garden this summer, so we planted it in containers along the edge of our patio. From left to right, we have: carrots, radishes, broccoli, marigolds, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, more marigolds, cucumbers, and lettuce:

And out at the fence line, I have put in seeds for morning glories, sunflowers, and bush beans. They're just starting to pop up, and every morning feels like Christmas as I hurry out to the fence to see the progress my precious seedlings have made from the previous day. Here you can see a morning glory (top left) and a few sunflowers (bottom right):

My bush beans seem to be growing by leaps and bounds in recent days. They might not look too tall yet, but considering they just poked through the ground a few days ago, I think they're doing OK:

When I'm in my front yard I wave at my American neighbors as they pass by and sometimes sit on the porch or at the little table for an impromptu chat. From my backyard, I can see my neighbor's parrot hanging out in his favorite tree, watch the horses in the pasture, and nod a reserved greeting to the Germans who go past on the other side of the fence. When I'm out tending to my seedlings, German dogs frequently run up to the fence line to check me out. I'm sure this one's owner wondered about the crazy American, down on the ground taking pictures of 4-inch bean stalks:

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