I so desperately wanted to title this post “White Trash Wednesday” but today is actually Thursday. Oh well, haha. : )
Today is Thursday! That means, as it has meant most weeks since January, Gardening with Maddie. To celebrate six months together, half a year of exploring the wonderful world of plant science and creativity, we visited a very cool local snow cone shop called “Trailer Trash Treatz.” We indulged in tall styrofoam cups loaded with sweet, cold perfection. Her flavor of choice was Wedding Cake and mine was good ol’ Pina Colada. We ordered both “trashy,” which means they hide a small scoop of ice cream in the center of your extra syrupy shaved ice then wedge a square of cheesecake on top, plus of course some heaps of whipped cream and a fresh strawberry too. I mean obviously. All of the slushy goodness melds with the creaminess and it is quite heavenly. Both snow cones were works of art, and the bar for such a treat has been permanently raised. Wow. Not to mention the shop itself was a pleasure to visit, really. So colorful and quirky. So lighthearted. I feel like I could be good friends with the decorator of Trailer Trash Treatz. Behold:
While we lingered over sugar and enjoyed the frosty air conditioning, Maddie and I discussed the learning work we have done so far as well as gardening goals and dreams and the related work ahead of us. We agreed that our first six months together flew by unbelievably fast! I am so proud of her enthusiasm, of her willingness to get dirty (literally!), of her ability to absorb lots of gritty information just in the course of long, casual conversations, of her overall penchant for plants. She has a deeply rooted appreciation for symbiosis in nature, and she is beginning to show signs of true passion for localvorism. (Tear rolls silently down my mud-flecked cheek.)
Maybe the best part is that this weekly effort is playing a small role in helping Maddie carry on gardening legacies from both sides of her family. Really cool. In fact today after snow cones she and I drove to both her Dad’s garden (the tomatoes!!) and her Nanny’s garden (hydrangeas!!). I was so moved to watch her point out the special parts of each space, the secret areas and childhood memories, why she loves little things. She named a few trees and shrubs and was able to rub the fuzzy grey-green leaves of sage between her fingers to correctly identify it.
Although in the latest weeks of winter we spent a fair amount of time planning a flower bed and brainstorming all sorts of eye candy, things shifted. One little hands-on project at a time revealed that she is more interested in growing edibles, specifically herbs. So we’ve focused our time and her budget on that so far, knowing that as summer winds down Oklahoma will invite us once again to that spectacular display of fall color. We will be working hard in her flower bed soon enough.
For the remainder of Summer 2016 our goals are in four parts:
- Maintain her container gardens, including herbs, veggies, and a few flowers.
- Harvest the edibles and host at least two family dinners using those items. So far we are thinking pizza (for all the basil, oregano, tomatoes, etc.) and ice cream (chocolate mint!)
- Visit nearby public gardens that we had previously visited just as spring was starting and monitor the changes since then. We also have a list of private gardens to visit, so she can see different design styles, work disciplines, etc.
- Do a handful of art projects related to the garden.
All of this should keep us plenty busy until September, especially with a week of vacation or camp thrown in here and there.
What a fun day. I love White Trash Wednesdays that are actually Thursdays with Maddie. And I love gardening. And I love friendships that grow in actual soil.
Over and out.