Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Promise

I tip toe out the front door, easing it closed behind me. My husband and the boys are still in bed, unbelievably. It is early morning. The sun sifts through the leaves of our White Pearmain apple tree. The pink and orange clouds branch across the horizon as sea gulls head back to the coast.

Finches scatter from the morning glories wound around our porch post when I step into the yard. The street is quiet. Across the sidewalk, on our planting strip, a Potimarron pumpkin vine wiggles and twines with a lemon cucumber vine, slithering past the blueberry bush. I stop to pick a blueberry - small, round and firm. It bursts with summer in my mouth and I close my eyes for a minute to absorb the silence. Against the house, a robin pecks the soil, fishing for breakfast underneath the coral passion flower vine. He thankfully keeps out of the window boxes teeming with lettuce leaves and thyme.

I walk around the side of the house, opening the gate quietly so as not to wake the neighbors whose house sits tightly near the fence. Ahh, the bareroot cane berries that I tucked into the soil last year are weighted with fruit now. Blackberries, olallieberries, raspberries. I'll bring the boys out to pick some this afternoon and maybe we'll make the triple berry pie they craved all winter.

I duck under the clothesline that strings along side the house. The bath towels and tee shirts hang limply on the line. I forgot to bring them in last night but it will be warm enough this morning to dry these. I might even get a second load on the line before noon.

Just beyond the clothesline is our backyard. Titan sunflowers and last year's hollyhocks loom over the fence. Scarlet runner beans - the result of tortoiseshell seeds my boys stuffed into the ground in April - wend up the trellis and wink at bees humming amongst the sunberries. Here, the tomato bushes are gaining ground, jostling the bush beans - tie-dyed Dragon's Tongue and yin and yang Calypso - where we planted them too close. A green breasted humming bird darts by, dipping into the fawning Mexican Sage.

Behind me, a squirrel chatters. That little bugger! He's in the raised beds again, digging up the lunar white and yellowstone carrots we planted in February. I run toward him, waving at the bird feeder. Help yourself! But he scampers away with the bed's fine, moist soil pillowing out behind him. At least he did not bother the strawberry spinach or our sweet English peas which look exactly as they did in the photo the boys cut from last winter's seed catalog.

Next to the beds is the patch where we cleared out potatoes to plant baby rice popcorn. It is not doing so well. I debated planting corn but the kids had their hearts set on it. Hmm, not an ear in sight. Not enough space? Too cold? I'll have to hop online to investigate or maybe my friend down the street knows what to do.

Back toward the house, a brigade of sparrows paw the freshly mown clippings on what's left of the lawn and then dart into the trees and bushes. Here is where we built the 8 foot high teepee for the boys in early spring. The seeds planted at the base have sprouted into an unwieldy green mass clambering over the bamboo poles with wilted white flowers (they bloom at night) drooping inward. I see the beginnings of a gourd in one of the female flowers and will have to call the boys out to see. Just wait until it develops into a full fledged, scaled, wrinkly dinosaur gourd!

I hear a tap on the sliding glass door and turning, trip over a burgeoning pumpkin - Amish Pie Squash - that I swear was not there yesterday. Gesh! These things grow overnight. In the window, I see the smiling face of my oldest.

Time for peace in the garden is over. I'd invite him out but instead trudge up the stairs. You see, the summer's sun may be sinking into our little suburban patch outside but, inside, it is not yet February and, here, we have only seed packets bursting with promise.

Gourd photo from Seed Savers Exchange.


arduous said...

What a lovely post. I'm envious of your garden. I don't even have a balcony so I can't really grow things. :(

theysaywordscanbleed said...

I wish i had that varied variety of plants and flowers in our garden.

~mel said...

Loved the description of your garden. Sounds lovely!

Chile said...

Lovely is indeed the perfect word to describe the vivid image you painted.

Green Bean said...

Thank you, ladies! Of course, this is only how I dream my garden will be - not how it actually is ... yet.


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