My kids are now 10, 12 and 14 and I’m just starting to reap the benefits of having kids…..FREE LABOR IN THE GARDEN!!!
My kids are now 10, 12 and 14 and I’m just starting to reap the benefits of having kids…..FREE LABOR!!!! On Thanksgiving weekend I still had a shit-ton of tulip bulbs to get in the ground. If anyone needs to know the quantity of shit-ton, I think it falls somewhere between 500 and I lost count.
Here I was with a lot of clean up and planting to do, a Christmas tree in the house and I was running out of time when a light bulb went off! Well, it was more like a tulip bulb. I said in my most excited voice “Let’s all go out and do it as a family!” (insert moans and groans here) Let’s revise the question: “You are going to help me plant the bulbs so we can decorate the Christmas tree. If you don’t help with the bulbs, no Christmas tree for you!” So we all bundled up, grabbed some rakes, shovels and started opening boxes of flower bulbs.
A few things occurred to me as I was half listening to the 14 year old complain about having to do this “horrible” job. 1) When I was his age, I had already been mowing the lawn for 5 years and knew how to change the oil in the 76 Monte Carlo and 2) complaining is an effective way to annoy someone so much that they just need you to go away. He’s either really shitty, or really clever (likely a combination of both). I still made him do it – I just walked away with my headphones on and ignored him….like a teenager. Boom!
My kids have been helping me garden for years. My 10 year old daughter is the most interested and asks me a bunch of questions and is always offering to help (her attention span is about 10 minutes into helping before she’s done). My 12 year old son will do whatever job I ask, and he will do it really well. My 14 year old….well, we already covered that one. My dogs kept grabbing the bulbs and running away with them which made all three kids laugh and chase them around the yard. I love every one of my little weirdos. They make my heart happy and now they make my landscape pretty.
Regardless of the complaining, dog thievery and a couple of situations with dog poop on a shoe, we had a really good time outside planting bulbs. The kids planted while I decorated the porch with evergreen pots, garland and the ‘big balls’ (as my husband likes to call them). Because we did it together, it only took 2 hours and we are ready for spring and Christmas!
The last weekend of summer is here. It’s bittersweet for me.
Summer is my absolute most favorite season of the year. My skin gets darker, my hair gets lighter, I feel warmer, my spirit feels sunnier and I get to relax and enjoy my coffee in peace while my kids sleep in until I decide I’m ready to make them breakfast. I have also had ENOUGH of summer and I’m pretty sure my 3 little ducks have too. They are fighting and picking at each other like cage fighters in a championship match over who wins the lifetime supply of fresh brownies. About two weeks ago I came up with a new household rule “Nobody is allowed to touch anyone until you no longer live under my roof.” It didn’t have the results I had hoped to achieve (I needed to add a clause about the car too). I threw up my hands, waved the white flag, grabbed my headphones and a glass of wine. My patience pockets full of ‘the good mom’ are completely empty.
In 4 sleeps (we count sleeps as we anxiously wait for an exciting day) I will be singing “The Wheels on the Bus” like a full-crazed person in my head, as I solemnly wave goodbye to my little darlings. The bus will pull away and their summer days of messy hair, baths at the pool and Minecraft are over. In 4 sleeps I will be trading a chronically messy house and sibling fights for packing lunches and pretending like I know 6th grade math (there’s an app for that, in case anyone else has discovered they maxed out at 5th grade math like me). I. AM. THRILLED!!!! I wish I could bottle this happiness up for next May when I’m tired of homework and packing healthy lunches that they don’t eat. I’m going to stay in the moment and chuckle at what how we are creatures of change always looking for the next shift. “Live in the moment” – whatever…I’m counting down my 4 sleeps!
In addition to my count down, I am also thinking of TULIPS, DAFFODILS and ALLIUMS….OH MY! My favorite bulb company (ok, I’m bias) is hosting a Facebook Sweepstakes and you could win $100 to shop on their site. The kids are going back to school so treat yourself to a pedicure and a chance to win (the pedicure is on you, the chance to win is on them).
If you love bulbs (or just want to try them for the first time), this contest is for you! Just LIKE Longfield Gardens Facebook page, then register to win here.
Here’s a glimpse of my favorite varieties this fall. What are your favorite fall planted, spring blooming bulbs?
*Photos courtesy of Longfield Gardens, LLC • All rights reserved
I love hard work, but I have to admit I loathe edging the landscape beds. However, behind every dreaded chore there is the opportunity to see things up close and personal that you normally wouldn’t see while sipping cocktails in comfort on the patio. While edging one of my many landscape beds, I was leaning over mumbling obscenities to the shovel and grass that has overgrown. In the midst of my quiet complaining, I looked up and noticed pretty green buds all over my lilac bush. I stopped grumbling and smiled.
I love working in the garden because it really does reflect real life. Life is full of hard work and painful truths (the equivalent of edging landscape beds), but once you get up close and personal with those realities, you can see little buds of new hope and life. Even after a hard winter, nature and life can still bloom beautifully.
There are many things to look forward to, as long as we keep looking up while edging the landscape beds.
Tulips are beautiful. I absolutely LOVE tulips. We’ve had an abnormally late start to spring, so not much more than my daffodils and crocus are blooming right now. Considering today is 82 degrees, I think spring took so long to show up, summer decided she was done waiting around for that diva and stole the show.
Well hello there sunshine and beacon of spring!
Tulips are the grand finale in the spring garden show for me….except not this year. Last fall I planted hundreds of tulip bulbs in my landscape. There has been a TON of rain here in West Michigan, so I haven’t been able to keep up with spraying them for deer and critters. Fortunately, the spray I was able to keep on my landscape beds successfully kept the deer out. Sadly, it did not keep the chipmunk that lives under the porch from enjoying a buffet of delicious bulbs.
Tulips of spring past.
I have a dog. She is 80lbs of pure fun, love and laughs. When her and I head out on our runs, she unintentionally satisfies my interval training. Running with Maggie goes something like this…SPRINT! (squirrel)….STOP (pee)….SPRINT! (rabbit)….run slow (sniff)….repeat. So, I find it incredibly ironic that this brilliant puppy who wants to chase everything knows how to sit, shake, heel, lay down and knows what ‘treat,’ ‘pancake’ and ‘go wake up the kids’ means cannot keep a darn chipmunk out of my garden. I had an old cat who did a better job at keeping the local wildlife in line better than this big old chocolate lab. Maggie looks big and scary, her bark sounds vicious, she’s not afraid of thunder or deer and she will jump into any pool of water. But can she protect the tulips? Nope. I have no tulips, but I have the love of a big old sweetheart.
“What? Oh, you mean I’m supposed to chase things when I’m OFF the leash too?”