It was the first hot day. After weeks of rain, the sun rose above the back fence in full regalia. Pea shoots sprung up in the raised beds. Wildflower seeds peeked shyly from under the winter's brown coat. Bees circled dizzily around the old palm tree, where I'm certain there is a hive.
Spring was here and I had the itch.
Not to spring clean. Though the kids' closets overflowing with too short pants and cubbies with paper airplanes might scream otherwise.
No, I had the itch to buy. A shopping spree.
It didn't really start out that way and its not what you think. You see there was this bare spot in the garden. In January, I'd plugged a bare root grape into the ground in front of my new fence but that was waaaay down there. Over here, on the walkway, well, there was plenty of room. When the grape grew, it would just feel so, well, lopsided.
Checking my calender, I realized it was one of those rare free mornings. Nothing scheduled. Nothing weighing down on me. The house under reasonable control. Carpe diem!
I seized the moment and headed out for the locally owned nursery one town over to pick up another grape. Flame seedless, thank you very much. Pulling into an empty parking space, I saw it. Out of the corner of my eye. A lilac tree. One of the first blooming plants here in Northern California. I tamped down the urge. I've long since gotten over the impulse buys, I told myself.
Instead, I headed toward the edibles section. Grabbing a red radio flyer wagon, I hoisted it up the ramp and toward the grapes. Wait! They'd been moved and now there were only herbs here. Mint for the kids to make tea near their play house might be nice and some oregano. I missed the oregano I planted out front at our old house. I tossed both in the wagon and headed down the ramp.
Except that they also had organic strawberries and Annie's Annuals - complete with a sign asking gardeners to plant the starts with the yellow dot to help honey bees Ha! I have a bee hive. I care about bees. I tossed a few orange dot annuals in the wagon.
I finally located the grapes in the back of the nursery, wedged between the fruit trees. Flame seedless, hello! Oh, wild red currant? It needed a home. That sunny spot in back corner? I stopped to gaze at an apricot tree but regained control. Breathe.
Back to the register. Wait? California natives. I do aim to have a wildlife friendly backyard and, after going pesticide free, going native is one of the most important steps to take. Hmm. "Tolerates poor soil. Needs no water once established. Bright red flowers in summer and fall." Then . . . hold the phone! A native grape. Well, I must have that. In addition to the flame seedless? Sure, why not.
I finally made it to the register, averting my eyes from the seed racks, and a little flushed. Turns out you can take a girl out of the mall but you cannot take the shopping out of the girl.