Thursday, July 19, 2012


Last year at this time our gardens were overflowing with fruits and vegetables.  Between our two plots at the community garden and our backyard garden, we decided we had enough of what we liked to stop participating in our CSA.  The only thing we did not grow well was Kale and that could be purchased at farmer’s markets.  Greg prepared the plots and readied our raised bed gardens for planting.  I looked forward to Saturday mornings, 6:00am, outside sipping coffee watching the sunrise while admiring our plants and discussing our week.  Sadly, life got in the way of my hopes and dreams for this growing season.

Greg is busy.  Busier than usual.  Which is good I guess, but he commutes three hours a day to Manhattan and travels occasionally.  When he works even longer hours, or on weekends, he has no time or energy left for gardening.  While we were in TN the weeds overtook our plots and all his hard work was for naught.  Since we were delayed in planting and the work was now doubled we decided to forgo the community garden this year.  
Then we had an issue that every homeowner dreads.  We had termites.  For decades an old apple tree stood in the middle of our yard.  It weathered storm after storm stoically.  About ten years ago a fall Nor’Easter blew threw and toppled our little apple tree.  We took the stump out of the yard and for a few more years the children played and the dogs ran over its roots which went deep into the earth, where they provided a natural habitat for a colony of termites.  
Three years ago we decided to install a pool.  Due the the decaying roots, the ground was too unstable to support a pool and the roots were excavated and the ground filled and packed.  We never thought twice about the ecosystem we were disrupting.  We were happy that we now could cool off in a backyard oasis.  The termites, however, did not share our joy.  Apparently, they marched two by two or four by four a few yards over and found a new source of old wood.....our home.  Luckily we caught them when they decided to swarm seeking a new place to expand their colony.  After two exterminator visits and many tears on my part, we were rid of these pests.  
I have spent the past few years ridding my home of toxins.  We use natural soaps, detergents, cleaning products, body products and beauty products.  We eat organic as much as possible.  We eat GMO free as well.  I cannot express how much it hurt to knowingly pour toxins into my home but since there is no natural way to rid a home of termites I had no choice but to carefully research the companies and seek their reassurance that they would only do what was necessary to cure our problem.  Not only was this expensive, it cost me my garden for this year.  My beautiful organic soil lovingly tended with my worm compost was now off limits due to how close it is to the perimeter of my house which was treated.  
One day the girls decided to plant flowers in the space where tomatoes should be.  They had no plan, no map.  They gave no consideration to the height of the flowers or if they needed sun or shade and sadly, if they are perennial or annual.  I really thought all our packets were annuals.......but this is what resulted!

A beautifully chaotic garden!  It is what we look at when we are in our studio working.  It brings me joy.  It also brings me trepidation.  Morning glories are gloriously vining their way up the cosmos and through the bean poles.  Thick, strong, healthy vines with flowers in beautiful vibrant colors.  Perennials.  In my organic vegetable garden.  I predict much work will be needed to transplant these and remove the roots from the soil.  But that is a problem for another day.  For now, I am enjoying my gift.
Thanks Grace, Lilah and Marlin!

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