So, tonight my middle granddaughter, Little Bug (that’s her nickname, her given name is Vanessa) walked with me in our backyard looking at all of our different plants. We have some in pots, even some in a wheel barrow, and of course some planted in the ground. I didn’t realize all the varieties that we had until I started walking around with her, telling her about each one. Of course, she has seen all of them before, but I guess we had never just went around to all of them at once, smelling them and looking at each one with a new eye. We started at the baby wandering jew, it was a start at least 25 years old. We have it climbing all along the fence in the back yard. Next we checked out the azaleas, transplanted from the front, the bonus variety that bloom twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Then we picked a bloom off the day lilies, two of them in a pot-rescued from the front yard where the deer like to eat the blooms when they were planted in the ground. Our next flowers were the marigolds, planted in a galvanized water trough, up under the shade of our tree, so they get a good mix of shade and sun. The marigolds are so fragrant, Little Bug likes the way they smell, and so do I. The, on to the mint, also growing in the shade in a pot on a wooden ledge under the Oak tree from our back door neighbor’s yard. Of course we stopped to take a mint leaf and rub it between our fingers, smelling the leaves- she said it best, ” It makes me hungry”. It reminded me of the gum I keep in my truck all the time. Rounding the corner on another wooden ledge, also in the shade since our backyard gets direct west sun, we have dianthus and snapdragons. Kind of late in the year for snapdragons, and even the dianthus, but like I said, they’re in the shade so they are still blooming and healthy. Then, up next to our porch in a huge pot is our bougainvillea, it is growing like mad after being pretty much wiped out by the freezing in the winter. None of the leaves have turned red yet, we checked out the thorns, reminders to be careful around bogey. Up on the porch are our two hibiscus plants, one red, one orange. The red one is three vines twisting around each other. Last plant we came to is one of our favorites, very fragrant- the rosemary. My wife uses it in a lot of dishes, my favorite being rosemary bread.
I love working in the gardens, come by it naturally from my family going back to my grandparents. Until tonight, I really hadn’t thought about all the different plants in our backyard- it was fun taking a new look at them all at once. I always love to get the grand kids into it as much as they will, showing them the different plants, how they grow and how they smell. I tell them that you have to dig your hands right into the dirt, hold it up to your nose and smell the life in the dirt itself. Vanessa tonight noticed the snails and worms that inhabit the soil, the mini eco system- how we leave cuttings and leaves and even invader plants that grow around the flowers and herbs. I don’t weed everything out like I used to, I’ve learned to let the ecosystem do it’s thing. I don’t know about everyone else, but nothing seems so natural than planting, growing, watering, feeding, whether it’s plants, animals, kids. or souls. It’s all the same.