Spring is a quick passing breeze in Texas. We start to feel rather summery in May. This year seems to have been pretty mild as far as the weather goes, though. We are just now beginning to get the first signs of the heat waves that will be here in June.
Being as preoccupied as I have been with homeschooling, planning, paperwork, and the logistics of running a house with a kid in every age group... we completely neglected the garden this year. It was good to us, anyway. We had LOTS of cilantro. Yep - that's the white stuff with the bees and butterflies in it. It begins to taste funny after it flowers, and it dies off at the first sign of heat, but apparently, it seeds itself and takes over your entire garden if you leave it alone and let it do "its thing". This is the second year we've let it alone in the garden, so next year, I suspect our entire yard may be one big forest of cilantro.
I enjoyed eating dishes with cilantro, making salads with it, using it in soups and stuffing it in tacos... but it eventually begins to look REAL tacky in the yard as it dries up. Currently, you can hardly see the raised flower beds. We are going to go out and gather some seed to take to my mom's garden, and cut the rest of it down to clear the beds. We missed the growing season for any other type of veggie this year due to this mess of cilantro weed. If we tried to grow anything now, the heat of summer would surely kill it (or cost us a fortune in water bills).
There was one other thing that grew in the raised beds - I forgot - just one thing: a lone stalk of dill weed. And sadly, I didn't make good use of it before it dried up.
Most of what we've done in the yard this year is enjoy feeding the birds, mulch, weed flower beds, water trees, and mow. It has been great seeing the tiny trees get so big. For instance... these were the purple Vitex trees when we planted them...
They were knee-high!
And then there's the mulberry tree we planted on Arbor Day when the 3yo was about the same age as the 1yo is now. It's huge.
Let's just say that the birds are plenty in our yard. We have a resident mockingbird or two, a family of red house sparrows, a bunch of humming birds, and a slew of other seasonal visitors that enjoy the seed, flowers, berries, and bugs.
My son even picked one and ate it. Don't eat them until they are ripe, though. They have a hallucinogenic affect if you eat too many unripe berries. I haven't ever tried to use any of the ripe berries in recipes. Maybe someday I'll have time for those types of domestic gardening pursuits. I imagined having a yard full of crops to harvest when we started our raised bed project, but the amount of work I have indoors with 4 kids and homeschooling keeps me from all those green thumb ideals.
Sweet berries remind me of my sweet sugar lumps that cry when we make them come inside to take a bath after playing in the yard. Yesterday they enjoyed spraying each other with the water hose until the three year old sprayed the one year old in the face and nearly drowned him. Should have seen that one coming.
We keep our trees green using child labor. Shhhh! They don't know they are working.
There are more important things growing on the inside of our home, though. Tiny hearts, minds, little bodies growing bigger (and hopefully wiser) each day. I love tending that garden the best... so I don't mind so much that there are a few weeds that got away from me outdoors. I'll get around to those later.
If you think in seasons, plant cereals. If you think in decades, plant trees. If you think in centuries, educate your children. ~Chinese Proverb
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