I have wanted a garden and compost for a long time.
I love the idea of tiny seeds becoming beautiful foods we can eat or flowers that fill the air with beautiful scents.
Composting is fascinating to me because it takes all the scraps of food that would become waste and returns them to soil.
All the leaves in the yard no longer need to be bagged, they can simply go into the compost bin.
This year I am making both dreams come true.
For Valentine’s Day Kevin bought me a compost bin. I have diligently collected food scraps and paper scraps each day and deposited them in my bin.
Even though there is no “soil” yet, I know this process takes time and I enjoy watching the slow decomposition of the materials.
I also enjoy watching our garbage decrease.
The gardening dream started two weeks ago.
My daughter and I headed to the garden store, much to her dismay. She had never been to the garden store and was certain it had nothing fun for her.
I was just going to look around quickly and see if they had what I wanted, but next thing I knew we were both sitting on the floor picking out bags of seeds.
Both of us were completely unaware of other customers.
We were in that timeless zone where you know you are doing something you love, because the world around you doesn’t exist for a moment.
After we found several things we wanted to grow, we headed to soil and house plants.
We were looking for the perfect first houseplant, and we both saw it at the same time.
It is called “nerve” and we knew it was the one. She picked out a cute pot for it and we were on our way.
We returned home where our kitchen table became an assembly line of soil, seeds, tape for labeling, and water. It was horribly messy but incredibly fun.
Seeing her excitement was so wonderful. I had no idea she would want to garden with me.
Last week when our first broccoli sprouts appeared, I couldn’t wait to show my daughter.
So far gardening has been really fun and I cannot wait to transplant my seedlings outside when the ground thaws.
But starting my compost and garden has also brought many emotions I didn’t expect.
You see, my best friend in Arizona, whom I miss dearly, has a beautiful garden and compost. She was the first person to show me the ropes.
After our bike rides she would send me home with bags of arugula and rosemary. My bike basket smelled so fresh and earthy on my way home!
I couldn’t wait to see her compost bin and hear how it was working for her.
When some of her plants didn’t turn out, I shared her disappointment.
So as my first little broccoli sprouts popped up, I wished I could show her.
I wished we had a bike ride planned to discuss our gardens and compost. I wished I could eat one more salad with her amazing arugula.
After I let myself feel that sadness, I felt a glimmer of joy. Even though our gardens are thousands of miles apart, they will connect us in a special way.
We can still share about them on our weekly phone calls, and maybe even exchange pictures of our plants as they grow.
I always knew I would love gardening. Being connected to the earth, creating something, and caring for something.
But now I love it for two other reasons. It connects me to my daughter and my best friend.
My mind immediately went to a nursery rhyme when picking my title for this post.
“Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?”
My response? “With seeds and soil, love and toil, and the best friend I could know.” 😊