It’s Spring, and we’re back! It felt like a looong winter; even though there was not a lot of snow, there were a lot of gray days. Now there is sunshine and rain and green! Boys can play outside in their boots and search for worms as the world buds and blooms around them.
Each of my boys is a year older, of course. Rex is 10, Jude is 8, and Morris is 5. Each of my boys has grown at least an inch taller (an exact measurement will come soon), and at least a shoe size bigger. Morris’s feet grew two sizes larger since the fall!
As the weather is turning, the boys bring up their gardens in passing. They know it is almost time to plant. Rex and Jude have chives that sprouted from last year’s planting, and after playing outside, I notice they have onion breath. Rex has been looking for his beloved mint to come back; last week I saw some green sprouts shooting up. And, each boy has mentioned a plant he wants to grow in his garden; they expect me to start a list.
We’re starting our growing season by planting a few seeds I’ve collected in little starter pellets. These peat pellets start as hard discs. When you water them, they grow to seven times their size, and they create a cozy little bed for baby plants. Originally, I wanted to grow all of our garden this way. Isn’t that a romantic notion, to grow all of the vegetables from seeds. I’m cautious though. I tried this a few years ago and some of my plants – especially the tomato plants – were not as hardy as the ones I purchased from a greenhouse.
So, this year we’re trying a few, and we’ll see how they do. Last fall, I cleaned and dried some of the seeds from our Halloween pumpkins. These are hardy plants! One fall we chucked our pumpkins over the back of the deck and a volunteer vine grew and grew, and grew pumpkins for us in the fall for Halloween. I also cleaned and dried the seeds of an acorn squash before eating it for supper one night. Rex mentioned that he wanted to grow them in his garden, so why not try.
And, we’re trying something totally new this year. Grandma Jacobson to me, Great-Grandma Jacobson to my boys, gave us hollyhock seeds from her farm in Ottosen, Iowa. My grandma has a beautiful, plentiful garden! She starts the season with strawberries, then fills her garden with vegetables – potatoes, onions, tomatoes, corn, and so on. She also has a large crop of decorative gourds, miniature pumpkins, and squash she grows on a different location on the farm. And lots of flowers, of course! I’m excited to see whether these flourish. I love the idea of having some of her heirloom hollyhocks at our home.
So, here we go! Hopefully 2017 is as abundant and adventurous as 2016!