It's late in the evening on Mother's Day, and I am a contented sort of tired. Again this year, I asked for no material gifts, but rather time from my family. I had originally requested a day (beginning after church) of family gardening. As the only gardener in the family, it's a real treat for me to have the companionship and help of my husband and daughter. But alas, yesterday's 1/2" of rain and this morning's chilly wind were not promising. So, I came up with an alternate plan: a visit to Chotkowski Peony Farm. Just outside our hometown, Chotkowski's has an incredible array of peonies, and Henry Chotkowski has a great Mother's Day open house each year. We had not been to the Mother's Day open house before. I expected the people, but not the food and the live music and the pleasant turn in the weather. It was a fabulous treat! And buying a lovely and sweet-smelling peony doesn't count as a material gift, does it? Especially if I don't get it until proper peony planting time, in October?
As it turned out, we can home to a garden dry enough to work. I'm still struggling to make the Kitchen Garden a reality. The fence that was coming down last fall is still standing and the beds I had hoped to plant in vegetables have not yet materialized. But, Love has tilled me a temporary holding bed for the perennials that must be moved out before the Bermuda grass can be annihilated and the new beds built. I've moved some of the perennials to the Cottage Garden, but little room is left there. Skye (my daughter, the food snob) and I are sharing the temporary bed -- she has a corner for her own garden. At eleven, this is her first garden. My plan is to hold the plants in my section (with a little room set aside for tomatoes and peppers) until the Kitchen Garden is ready to receive them again. For the first couple of years, the Kitchen Garden will be heavy with flowers until I can enlarge the Cottage Garden to hold them. Then the Kitchen Garden can switch to primarily foodstuffs. And once the perennials are moved out of the temporary holding bed, we will prepare it for an expansion space for the Berry Patch next year (or in two years, if progress is slow).
Thanks to Skye for the pictures she took while we were moving plants yesterday.