The first ray of hope for plants in my back yard raised beds came in the form of an email from The Growing Place. Their Aurora location was giving away compost, for free, one day only, the very next day. I hadn't started working yet, but compost was an expense lifted off our shoulders, and Fernando was game to shovel the back of the Suburban for me the next morning. In fact, after we got home and I left again to spend the day with Mom, he went back for a second load! (I love my man!)
Then, on May 14, a Saturday and the only morning I had free (I had to go in to work that afternoon), I decided I could go and purchase plants. Jake was ready to go with me and help carry, load, and unload. I would purchase fewer this year, I decided. Then I received an email--a friend of my neighbor Lorraine was offering me tomato plants--she would drop them off that morning! Even more money saved!
First, though, I opened my three-ring Garden binder. I had to plan the gardens--always a tricky task depending on what I wanted to plant and where I was in rotating those plants. I frowned when I opened it to my blank planner. There was already a planned-out garden with 2016 written in the square for the year. I must've goofed last year and wrote the wrong year in. But then I realized I had already planned this year's garden last year, when I started rotating my garlic beds with the rest of the garden. It's the first year I've ever planned my garden a season in advance, and it couldn't have come at a better time, when I had no time!
I purchased plants and seeds, came home, set the plants inside (our last frost was that evening), and went to work. Meanwhile, Jake spent some time digging up weeds for me.
Sunday afternoon was Planting Day.
The guys all pitched in to get the compost worked in to the soil in the open beds.
Danny took some time to attack the yucky prickle plants growing just outside the garden near the pool deck.
With the afternoon ticking away, I got the tomato plants planted, along with the herbs I purchased. The seeds would have to wait until Monday.
Danny showing Joe how to water the tomato plants.
The garden is coming along!
The guys hosed off the tarp/cover that had been protecting the compost, and Thomas laid it out to dry.
Jake got innovative in getting the dirt off the table.
Finally, on Monday, Joe helped me get the seeds--green beans, peas (late, oh well), and carrots--into their respective beds. We staked what needed to be staked, and the garden was complete. Wow.
Back on Sunday, I bribed the guys into posing for a picture. Totally bribed, no guilt about doing that, with Andy's frozen custard. I partook as well, so it really wasn't much of a bribe. But it got Joe back outside and standing with his brothers, even smiling for me!
The Fearsome Foursome!
And through free compost and tomato plants, a hardworking and generous husband, thoughtful neighbors, and hardworking sons, God provided my garden.
Back to life,
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