garden in a pot

my grandmama’s garden in waverly is one of my favorite places in the world.
during my childhood summers i would help out in her garden planting this and that,
picking blackberries for cobbler,
exploring in all the greenery: corn and sugar cane; plum, pear and apple trees,
and sitting in a circle of chairs with all the cousins shelling beans.
so i fancy myself having a green thumb by heredity.

with a home depot gift card in hand
(thanks, katrina)
and visions of green grandeur in my head,
i purchased a few plants

tomato, basil, parsley, oregano & mint

determined to share the love of (the idea of) gardening
and its rewards with my girls on a small scale.
they helped put in the soil

putting soil in the pot

and transplant our newbies to their new home on our back porch
off of the kitchen,
where, in theory, i’d be able to snip of a wisp of basil, parsley or oregano
to add fresh flavor to our meals.

a good green start

i’ve learned a bit about gardening since then
from books and internet research
and from the best teacher: experience.
it takes knowledge, constant care and work.
i am ashamed to show how our plant looks now.

we had an infestation of slugs.
they ravaged the basil.
i won the battle but at the expense of our mint
which i killed with salt
trying to kill the slugs
in order to protect our plants.
i have never seen a slug move so fast.

to be fair, i tried less deadly ways to get rid of the slugs:
spraying with an ammonia and water mixture and
putting egg shells on the soil,
but they just came back.
salt kills slugs dead,
but, now i know, it also kills plants.

this little pot garden seemed to bring us closer as a family.
even my husband got involved checking the plant for slugs
after coming home from work,
or checking that the soil was moist before heading to work in the morning.

the basil still hangs on in a yellow-green, droopy state.
the parsley ranges in color from bright green to reddish yellow to dead.
the only bright spot is that we have 4 or 5 tomatoes that are successfully ripening.

during this journey we added a strawberry plant
which gave us its small harvest of tart berries.
small successes do wonders for the ego.

pot garden of the wannabe green-thumb

free swim at the splash pool

sanaa and rahmah are taking swim classes,
but i thought a free swim would be a great time for them to
practice their skills and play around.
often during swim class
— which they also take at the rollingcrest chillum splash pool
they spend a good deal of their time
at the edge of their pool listening to instruction
or letting a classmate take a turn under the instructor’s eye.

aya hasn’t had a swim class yet.
after she had started her first class she broke her arm
and subsequently had to take a hiatus.
this was her chance to get in the pool like her big sisters.

with summer here, we plan to take a break from formal swim classes,
get a family swim pass
and hit up our neighborhood outdoor pool,
lane manor splash park
— which just a block away —
at least once a week.

oxon hill farm

we had a great time just roaming around the farm,
being greeted by the huge cows,
talking with the geese and chickens,
watching the pigs wallow,
trying to coax the horses out of the barn,
touching all the farm tools,
and reading about the history of the farm.

however, i suggest calling ahead for special events
and to see if the cow is cooperating for milking
— she was being testy the day we went —
and if the hayride will still be going on.
we weren’t able to do the wagon ride because the vehicle used to pull the wagon
was being used to cut the grass.

may work

international picnic day 2010

tuna salad & crackers, lemon aid, apple cinnamon muffins,
sun glasses, a frisbee,
a few big black ants, a couple black squirrels with red tails
and a nearby playground
make for a beautiful day in maryland on international picnic day.

gettin our grub on
getting our grub on
freedom to move
freedom to move
frisbee fun
frisbee fun
on the swings
no matter the age, swings are always fun

that reminds me of the national wildlife federation‘s be out there campaign to get kids outside.
be out there national wildlife federation

their great backyard campout is coming up later this month on 26 june 2010.
great backyard campout

anyone have a tent i can borrow?