What Have I Done?

A couple months ago (apparently, time flies) I posted about my dreams of achieving craft and gardening Success.  I’d like to check in on me and see how I’ve done.   And what I’ve learned.

For starters, lavender doesn’t grow.  It’s a myth.  Who knows what’s in all the things that are labeled “lavender.”  Because lavender seeds you plant will just turn into more dirt, as if it never happened.

On the craft front: My friends have come over for craft day.

I served them iced mint tea.

I bought some material for pillows and other crafts, so every once in awhile I get it out and gaze at it while they labor away at their sewing and wool animals.  Although yes, I finally got three pictures painted for the girls’ room.  Not Etsy-worthy but definitely “My-Mom-Made-This-For-Us-Isn’t-She-An-Affectionate-Dork” Little Girls’ Room worthy. IMG_0715IMG_0706

Obviously not to scale.  Paint AND use my brain?  Don’t be ridiculous.

Still no dollhouse (I still have six months to procrastinate on that Christmas gift), still no terrarium (but I told someone about my idea – does that count?), and still no sewing projects (That’s a winter sport.)

Before you think I have totally reneged on all my ambitions, let me turn your attention to my garden.

I can grow some things really well.  Like periwinkle.  I spent two weeks digging up someone else’s Bad Idea to rearrange my hardscaping.  Two weeks, people.  And it is still sprouting cheerfully.  So, yeah.  I can grow periwinkle really well.  Without even trying.  I can almost hear it saying, as those glossy new leaves poke up out of the dirt, over and over, “Well!  We’re back!  Whew, dark down there!  But we’re young and invincible.  Happy to see us?”

And spinach.  We have harvested bowlful after bowlful of it.  Send me your spinach recipes!  I was so proud of it.  My first shining sign of success.  Then the neighbor came over and said, “Your peas are coming along nicely. I think something’s eating your spinach, though.”  “Oh, yeah, that was us.”  (Then I ran in to look up how to harvest spinach.  And yes neighbor, we can pick some leaves and leave the rest to keep growing.  So I’m not feeling embarrassed anymore.)  One day of sun later, and I go check it.  It’s suddenly tall and the leaves are a different shape.  So now I can tell you all about bolting.  At least I won’t need to buy spinach seeds for next year.

You have to water mint plants in a pot like, daily.  They are so Needy.  They are on “real person” level with the kind of attention they require.  The good news is that they revive from severe cases of the Wilts fairly easily.  Also, fun fact that I learned from my friend years ago (“So you can recognize it by the roadside!”) is that mint plants have square stems.  Next fact: stinging nettle also has something like a square stem.  You only make that mistake once.  Then you belatedly realize that despite similar stems, stinging nettle definitely has a sinister look about it that mint lacks.  It also grows really really well in our soil.  Some stalks, if left unchecked for six months while the owner goes overseas, have been known to reach heights of five feet. (Speaking from personal experience is not all it’s cracked up to be.) That’s deadly.  Also edible, but we aren’t that desperate yet.

One more thing I can grow really well is some kind of bush/tree.  I have two of them and have no idea what they are but they are taking over the clothesline and the sidewalk.  I go out and whack away at them every other week and they just keep growing, as if they relish bad haircuts.  Maybe I should braid the limbs.

Here it is when we moved in.

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And here it is two years after my lax discipline.

IMG_9186I clearly am not in control of the situation.

In about two more years, I will need someone to come hack through the stinging nettle, periwinkle, and hair bush to rescue me from the house.  Just like Aurora.  See?  Overgrown weeds are like a fairy tale.  And I at least have three pictures and some spinach to show for all my work.