In Memoriam In the Garden

It’s been a rough month here in Food It Yourself land. My mother made a shockingly quick slide from living with cancer to receiving a terminal diagnosis to completing her time on this blue marble. It was a sad, anxious, scary time for all of us. My family was supported by a huge fellowship of relatives, friends, and end-of-life care professionals. We are still figuring out what life without her looks like. That is going to take time.

Instead of sending an arrangement of flowers, my supervisor gave me some daffodil bulbs. You all know I am more interested in tasty plants than pretty plants. However, Mom always said “you need the pretty”; she usually said that when putting a doily on a side table or sprinkling parsley on a casserole. If I am going to transform my lawn into one big garden, I suppose having some pretty couldn’t hurt.

Since I am not highly skilled with flower growing, I looked on-line for advice on planting daffodil bulbs. I decided to use the advice of the trusted Old Farmer’s Almanac. Here is a link to their page on daffodil planting. After a quick survey of my yard, I figured out exactly where to plant my Mom garden. Here is how it all went down.

I selected this stretch of lawn in the front yard for my daffodil bed. It gets a good amount of sun and will allow me to share the pretty with the whole neighborhood. I cleared the leaves with the lawn mower.
I removed the grass right next to the rocks with my Japanese-style hand hoe. This thing rips through sod like butter! I picked out the smaller rocks I uncovered and put them aside. You will see why soon.
Now to dig the new bed. I grabbed not only my rototiller, but also my eye and ear protection. Safety is important. Do not skimp on safety equipment.
It took about 15 minutes to get the bed dug (including my unsuccessful attempts at starting the tiller). I then used the rocks I pulled out of the ground to create a boarder.
I set all the bulbs on top of the soil to check the spacing and also make sure that I spread out each of the three varieties of daffodil. There were also half a dozen hyacinth bulbs, so I spaced those evenly along the bed for little pops of purple between the shades of yellow. They are a little more than three inches apart now, but over the years they will fill in.
When in doubt, go a little deeper, especially if you live in an area with harsh winters. I worked a little bone meal into the soil as I dug. This little guy looks perfectly snug. See you in April!
For a final layer of pretty, I topped the bed with some mulch. Besides being nice to look at it will keep weeds from choking out my flowers.

I am defiantly a practical sort of person, and I frequently got the “you need the pretty” line from Mom. I think she would be pleased that I have a slice of pretty in my yard, and I know I will think of her every time I prune back an unruly shrub or arrange my herb bed shortest-to-tallest.

Change is hard. Changing to a life that is missing someone is very hard. We are still here, though, growing, changing, adjusting, and holding each other up. ❤