Sweet Peas And Lemon Balm

Last evening, I looked over my garden, and realized how magically my connection to these plants has unfolded.

Garden is a bit misleading, especially after the move, as I had to break down the big bag container with over 500 lbs of soil and compost.  But there are containers and containers of growing green things that are happy, so in this sense, it’s a garden.

Last year, I dipped my toes in the water.  A few containers on the front porch, while nearly twenty in number, it was just a beginners practice summer.  This year, I made up my mind to go all in, even though I knew I might move.  I had a choice, to take a chance and live, or to decide against buying soil and containers because I might move, might lose a lot of money and time because I needed to pack up again.

Caution be damned.  I went all in, buying over 1,000 lbs of soil and compost, containers of all different shapes and sizes.

And then my landlord sold the building, the sale contingent on my being out in 30 days, no wiggle room.  So  I moved.

My new place not only has an entry porch, a sunny backyard perfect for growing, but I now have a huge screened patio that I can use in the winter, and an indoor nook that I’ve decided will hold the herb garden during snow season.

I moved over 250 plants, and most survived.  The ones that didn’t, weren’t faring great before.

Yesterday evening, I looked over my garden, and I remembered how I decided to pull out all the stops, no matter my living situation, and life followed me more extravagantly than I could have expected.  I’d forgotten about the decision that I made this spring, when the local nursery delivered dozens of 40 pound bags that I had to lug around to the back, then haul out again to plant containers and the bag bed, which alone held over 500 lbs of mulch, soil, compost, and worm castings.

I now know what “worm castings” are, and I feel like a real green goddess having come this far.

I’ve harvested three or four huge cucumbers, and the three varieties of heirloom tomatoes hang heavy with ripening fruit, and they continue flowering.  A red pepper plant looks like it will give at least a few peppers, and some chili peppers that I planted have flowered with the heat.  I wrote before on the radishes; notably, I wrote that poem before the move, as though the physical expansion has expanded my perspective.

It’s the herbs and flowers that have my attention this evening.  The violas keep blooming and blooming, in profuse dainty bunches.  The French marigolds still pop a few blossoms out, but their container is too small for their roots now, and I think they’ve run their magnificent course this year.  Unless I transplant them, which I may, to see what happens.

Today, I noticed that a bucket that I planted delphinium, zinnias, and sweet peas in offered the first sweet pea blooms, a gorgeous marriage of purple and pink, blossoms like small butterflies.  This bucket’s been slow to take off, I didn’t think I’d see flowers.  But the zinnia’s have been blooming for a couple of weeks, and finally the sweet peas are offering themselves to the world.  I hope the delphinium decide to say hello.

A few containers down from the flower bucket sits a hand painted ceramic pot overflowing with melissa.  It’s taken off since we (the plants and myself) arrived here, nearly dying after the move.  It loves the porch near my entry door, but I’ve not paid it too much attention.

I bent over this evening and rubbed its leaves between my fingers, and a sweet citrus scent remained — “Oh, lemon balm, it’s lemon balm,” I thought, as I vaguely remembered why I planted it.

A quick google told me that among other uses, I can make a cold fragrant tea.  So I harvested lemon balm leaves.  Two  large mason jars of soaking leaves sit in my fridge, preparing for my pleasure the next couple of days.

I looked out my garden this evening, and I picked lemon balm’s sweet citrus leaves, as I admired my delicate and oh so lovely blooming sweet peas.  I remembered my decision a few months ago, again, took a deep sigh, and thanked life for honoring my decision to live and to do so boldly.

If there’s a lesson, here, it’s to choose in the direction of the life you want, and that life will appear, without fail.


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