How does your garden grow?

I have a fairly extensive container garden of which I am quite proud. It really began last year with chives (purchased from my local grocery chain). I think at the time, I also had a tomato plant (purchased from Costco) and basil and possibly thyme (both also from the grocery store), but after months (and I do mean months) of neglect, only the chives survived.

Well, at the beginning of the summer, I treated myself to some patio furniture that I found on sale at Target. We had been in our house 5-1/2 years at that point; I figured it was finally time. At any rate, one of the things you notice when you start hanging out on your new patio furniture is how positively pathetic all of your dead plants look. They’re like constant reminders of failure. Who wants to see that?

At that point, I uprooted all the dead plants and replaced them with avocado seeds that had successfully sprouted. And then I pulled out packets of seeds from Seeds of Change for The Boy to choose what he wanted to plant. His selections? Corn, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and thyme. I was apprehensive, but I also didn’t want to discourage him. I mean, the worst thing that could happen was that the seeds wouldn’t sprout, right? So we planted them together. The corn went into repurposed Play-Doh cups; the rest went into an empty styrofoam egg carton. All of these went onto the kitchen windowsill (which I have named “the Magic Windowsill”), and I was very careful to explain to The Boy that sometimes, seeds won’t sprout and grow into plants.

Boy, was I ever proven wrong.

It’s been about 2-1/2, maybe 3 months since we did that initial planting together. To my (pleasant) surprise, the corn and tomatoes sprouted almost immediately. Since then, we’ve been busy keeping up with the plants. I repotted those initial plantings, and we planted more corn (you need at least 6 plants, I read, to ensure pollination). The Boy also decided he wanted to plant snow peas. And as we waited patiently for those to grow, we were also watching the carrots and thyme in hopes they, too, would grow robust enough to replant.

This past weekend, I transplanted the peas (all of them – who knew they would all sprout?), two of the four corn plants (two didn’t sprout at all), and the last tomato plant that was finally ready to move into a pot of its own. (Now do you understand why I call it the Magic Windowsill?) Meanwhile, two of my four tomato plants have started to flower!

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As much work as my little container garden has been, I’m really glad I involved The Boy in choosing what plants to grow. He loves looking at his plants; he marvels at how big his corn is getting. And while I do the bulk of the watering (and all of the weeding), I have to admit that I feel a surge of motherly pride when I see his eyes light up in wonder at how all of these plants came from little, tiny seeds.

Now, if I get the raised garden beds that I’ve requested for Christmas, I can also give him his own rake so he can help me really tend to the garden!


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