By Nancy Leasman
My youngest granddaughter (GD#2) planted her first garden this year. Her uncle (Silas the Gardener) helped work the soil and choose what to plant.
Since this young duo created an out-of-the-box thinking team, they were not constrained by traditional garden shapes. Not to be limited by squares or rectangles, or the use of mechanized garden implements, they used shovels and dug a jelly bean shape in a nice sunny spot in the middle of the back yard. It’s a small plot, about 15 feet long and 9 feet at the widest.
GD#2 and StG planted greens, beans, pumpkins, muskmelon, tomatoes, peppers, and basil. They also transplanted several tarragon plants from my herb garden.
GD#2 weeded, watered, and nurtured the little bean-shaped garden. It grew and produced greens for salads, small tomatoes, and bell pepper, and the green beans were blossoming. Then the heat of summer and classroom driver’s education drew attention away from the garden. Weeds moved in, and more invasively, crabgrass. It was the crabgrass that spelled defeat, according to GD#2’s mother.
Then my grandson (One & Only GS) had his tonsils removed. Mom took several days off work, but in the second week post surgery, she had to go back. I was invited to come and assure the comfort of the surgical patient. After administering some analgesics, checking the bottle of ice water, and seeing O&OGS settled in with some diversions, I told the two kids that I would go work in the garden for a little while.
GD#2 was helpful in finding some gloves, a shovel, hand rake, and an old T-shirt I could kneel on.
I spent just over an hour digging, pulling, and shaking soil from the roots of the invaders. The rows were planted close together so it was a balancing act, with significant reaching and stretching to root out the weeds.
GD#2 came out a couple of times. She was delighted to find a young muskmelon the size of a large grape. She also picked a pepper. Then she asked what I would like her to make for lunch. No she didn’t get down and pull any weeds, but she said she’d put the sprinkler on the garden later.
Sometimes the life we choose can get a little overwhelming. When crabgrass threatens to choke us, a helping hand can set us back on the right track. Someone else recognizing that our labors are worthwhile, and pitching in to prove it, can be just what we need. In this instance, it also gave me a good workout.