Alex’s Garden


My childhood home has been un-lived in for a lot of the last decade. We were transplanted (is that too on the nose for a gardening blog?) when my parents took jobs that moved us overseas. From a small half-acre in Upstate New York to Iceland. From the lush and green country side to a lava field where nothing seemed to grow and the nights were so long they never seemed to end.

In the interim between then and now there have been a lot of moves. A lot. There have been a lot of new houses, new experiences, new people. There have been new countries, new cities, new addresses. You should see the address book on my Amazon page, it tells a story. There have been really sweet times, and really hard times. Our family unit has changed shape, and the way we fly apart and then come together again reminds me of the way a jellyfish moves through the water.

I’m back now, and it feels good. Yesterday, I sat in my grandmother’s rocking chair. Last night, I slept in the room I slept in as a child. Today, I need to return my aunt’s pizza tray. The mundanity of that fills me up.

When we were little, we bought our Mom day lilies and fruit trees to try and fill up the big empty yard. Some of them survived, and most of them did not. When I came home for a summer a few years ago, I went to Walmart and bought some discount flowers on my aunt’s advice and I stuck them in the ground. I divided up the big, bulbous end of the yellow Daylily we had given my Mom years and years ago and I tried to make a little flower bed around the porch. It was my first foray into gardening as an adult and when I left at the end of the summer family members sent me photos of the lilies blooming the next spring. That felt really good.

I’ve wanted to grow things for a while now. I think I crave the roots. Having so few myself, I think I want the stability and semi-permanence of putting something in the ground and watching it grow and succeed and thrive.

I thought I’d start this blog, a journal of my first real gardening attempt, from the very beginning. I thought I’d muse on my own self, my own roots, my own attempt to put some down after the transience and unpredictability of the last thirteen years.

I want a garden. I want to eat tomatoes that I grow myself. I want to know what loamy means. I’m a novice. I have recently (this morning) learned what a zinnia looks like. I still have to work to remember the difference between an annual and a perennial, like when someone holds up their left index finger and thumb to remember which way is left and which way is right. But I think I’ll get there, and I think I’ll be discovering things along the way, and I think there will be healing, and I hope there will be tomatoes.


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