Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Garden of Reason

I call my vegetable garden God’s Little .08% Acre – literally. There’s enough room for three tomato varieties – cherry, sun sugar, and peron ( small, medium, and large). There’s also a red and a yellow pepper plant (green is so common) and a single mound of eggplant seedlings - skinny eggplants. I thought mini-moulengiani – the Italian word my mother used for eggplant – might not need as much space to grow as traditional moulengiani plants . Though, I should really stick with calling it eggplant, since my generation tagged Mom’s word for eggplant politically incorrect.  How times change.

A few steps down my driveway there's an additional  strip of herbs: chives, flat and curly parsley, oregano, marjoram, and three - yes three - varieties of basil: petite, traditional, and a real find this year -- basil lettuce. Its leaves are slightly puckered, more neon than deep green, and huge. The stuff of Scarborough Fair -- more parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme --  hangs in a container off the back steps railing.

Had a bigger garden, about the same size as  the 15’X 24’ above-the-ground pool, in the yard of the larger house I left five years ago. The house Larry and I raised our children in.  My adult children had grown out of the home - but not in the way they grew out of one bathing suit after the other. My kids didn’t need more space. They needed their own space. Which left me with too much space.

I remember looking at the pool in the old back yard and thinking, either this pool goes or I go. Seemed a shame to excavate a huge hole in the backyard  and then have to refill it with dirt. Especially with all that extra space in the house too. Space I couldn't just fill with dirt and replant.

So I found a mid-nineteenth-century cottage of sorts nearby and sold my big house to my niece and her husband. The family connection made it easier, I think.

Now, Baby Tess and her mom and dad swim in the big pool—in the big back yard.  My children and I still go to toddler birthday parties there. And though some of the house has been remodeled, my niece still refers to the room on the left, down the long first-floor hall, as “Emmy’s room.” My daughter Emmy. Which is nice in the same sort of way it’s nice to come home and sit on my little side porch, just a few steps down the driveway from my God’s Little .08% Acre veggie patch.   

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