This was supposed to be it. Right now. Over the past few years, every time I uttered the words "Well, I guess we can't right now, but next summer we should (fill in the blank here)," I was talking about this summer. Three summers ago I was pregnant. Two summers ago I had a wobbly, nap-taking, one-year-old. Last summer I had a determined, quicker-than-lightning, two-year-old. But this summer, this summer, I have a child old enough to safely join in most activities and I am so very experienced at being a Mom that it should be easy to schedule life in order to accommodate anything.
.....Is there a font for sarcasm? I guess not. You'll have to improvise.
The air in my house is thick with laters, not yets, and soons that are looking for a place to land. My son doesn't take very kindly to hearing those words, and I really can't blame him because I don't either. The current focus of my impatience is our garden. I was so looking forward to the flowers we were going to plant, the landscaping we were going to complete, and endless summer nights of relaxing on our newly-painted deck enjoying the view.
At least the deck is painted.
I don't consider our yard anything out of the ordinary when it comes to the amount of work required to maintain it. It takes quite a bit of time and effort throughout the spring and summer, but for anyone with a suburban yard who doesn't employ landscapers, that seems normal to me. And I enjoy doing it. But the time just isn't there right now. Every year we research, measure, sketch, plan, and we end up weeding, pruning, watering, and wishing.
I suppose I should be grateful this year, as we sit in the middle of one very long Midwest drought. Just keeping the few perennials watered enough to stay green is a nightly task that would take much, much longer if we had planted everything we had wanted. But seeing all of the empty, dry beds of dirt every night does not give me peace. I recognize it is more frustrating because it is a symptom of my larger issue with scheduling, but that perspective doesn't put color in my yard.
However, we did manage to try one new thing this year that isn't dead yet. Back in March we placed an order for a native plant kit from Conserve Lake County, an organization that works towards land and water preservation and conservation in our area. The kit arrived just after we came home from our June vacation, thanks to some customer service and a purposely delayed shipment, and we were able to plant it right away.
When it comes to planning a garden, it doesn't get much easier than how they set it up for us. It came like this.....
.....with a little map like this.....
....and once we got them all in the ground, we had ourselves a little area of life that had a plan and purpose:
They look a little tiny and sad in these photos, but a few weeks later, the plants are taller and thicker and generating new sprouts, so we may well be on our way to something successful. I will wait a while before posting updated pictures; right now there is not much more to show. In theory, there should eventually be flowers and butterflies, which will make for much more exciting images.
I'm pretty sure these are all going to come back next year, as long as they grow and get established right now. So next year will definitely be the year that our yard is going to look great.
It's no wonder I am a Cub fan.