What prompted me to dig out my gardening gloves and other tools are three colorful rose plants I couldn't help but notice in the produce section while doing my weekly grocery shopping. Bright pink, tangerine and ivory. I simply couldn't resist these beautiful flowers, especially when they all cost less than what I would pay for a bouquet of roses.
As my kids and I dug the holes for the plants, I looked around at all the brown dirt surrounding us. I felt slightly sad knowing we've lived in our house for more than five years without adding much color to our landscaping. We bought our house new, which meant we were responsible for all the backyard landscaping. Drainage pipes, lawn, retaining wall. All of it.
The landscaping company we chose designed a backyard that earned us plenty of compliments early on, though I'm sure many of our visitors have since wondered why we've never taken it to the next level by adding more plants and flowers. There are many reasons why we didn't do so, but the truth of the matter is that my priority was working on the inside of our home.
Until now, I've been content to let my husband mow the lawn and do the weeding. The last time I planted anything in our backyard was last December when I discovered pink poinsettias at Target. It was a memorable occasion because it was the first time both my kids were old enough to help me with the gardening. Today, my son proudly noted how large the poinsettias have grown, prompting me to fantasize that our tiny rose plants would one day grow to towering bushes. This thought then led me a bigger dream: that one day our backyard will be a panoply of color, thanks to all the plants that my kids and I will plant together in the coming years.
Sometimes I've regretted not forking over the extra cash early on for professional gardeners to make our backyard look pretty, but I'm now thinking maybe it was for the best. A little corny perhaps, but wouldn't our garden be that much more precious if my kids and I are able to look on it one day as the result of our laboring together?
Truthfully, I don't know whether my children's interest in gardening will hold. Even now, they are content to help me dig for a few minutes, but then abandon their posts to go make "sand castles" with the dirt and bury all their dinosaurs.
The fact of the matter is that I've managed to plant three different plants in five years so I've got to be realistic if this plan is going to work.
The way I see it, I'll just take it one plant at a time.