Laurel’s garden

Recently, I was attacked by a fit of wanting to garden and to do something with Laurel. We have this little space just outside our kitchen doors that’s just the right size for a toddler garden. So I dug out the layers of leaves and duff, broken-down redwood bark, hard dirt, rocks, chandelier pieces, and the other detritus one finds in the soil behind an 86-year-old house. Then we added new soil and compost, and looked through our copy of Golden Gate Gardening to figure out what we could plant in San Francisco in September.

To some extent, you can plant year-round in San Francisco, because the ground doesn’t freeze and we rarely get frost. On the other hand, plants still have seasons, and there were plenty we couldn’t plant in the fall (or at all — Laurel was eager to plant corn). But we found two that would probably work: radishes and spinach. So we went down to our neighborhood hardware store, bought the seeds, brought them home, and planted them.

And, because slugs seem to like this garden spot — even moreso now that the dirt is fresh — I added some boards lined with pennies, because slugs allegedly don’t like copper (not that there’s much copper in a penny these days).

Every day, Laurel goes out to check on her seedlings and to see how they’ve grown. She’s been watching a lot of My Neighbor Totoro, and loves the scene in which the girls and the totoros do a little dance next to their garden to make the seeds grow. On her own, Laurel started doing the same dance next to her seedlings. About a month ago, the radishes looked like this. This morning, they look like this. They’re not getting much sun, so they’re growing slowly, but they’re growing.

This isn’t her first time gardening; she helped with some seedlings at her former preschool, and at her new one they’re growing some herbs. But this is her first time it’s been all her own.

In other news, bedtime has been going a bit better, in part due to an incentive system which involves sparkly hair clips in the morning. In addition, Laurel finally got around to asking where John Lennon is, and Devin had to tell her that he died. When she asked what happened to him, he told her she wasn’t old enough to hear that story, yet. “When will I be old enough?” she asked.