imaginary outfit: digging in the dirt

The sun is out (most of the time), the air is cool, the ground is soft, and the bugs haven't appeared on the scene, so Sean and I are trying to get outside as much as possible to tackle all the planting, pruning, weeding, mulching, raking and mowing. I can't do quite as much as I would like thanks to the belly, but I help where I can.

A lot of my garden time is spent with my mom. It's one of her favorite activities. For years, we would tease her that half of the photos she took on any vacation were of flowers, trees or plantings. A few years ago, we unearthed a stack of 1950s honeymoon photos taken by her dad, who passed away when she was very young. Half the stack were images of flowers or plants. About the same time, I started to review the photos I was taking of our days in New York, and discovered that a sizable percentage were of plantings, trees, and flowers. Family ties can take funny shapes.

When my mom and I work in the garden, I always learn something: how to divide a hosta, cultivate asparagus or propagate black raspberries. Most of my questions have to do with finding out what things are. Plants have Latin names and common names and folk-tale names, and my mom knows many of them.

Names are in the air. Sean and I don't seem to be able to land on a name for the baby. It feels like an imposition, to name a person sight unseen. We had family friends who could not choose a name for their baby, so they went home from the hospital with "Baby Girl" on the birth certificate. After a year or so, they decided on Alice. That feels a bit like a cautionary tale, and I am hoping that once we meet the baby, name inspiration will strike. Maybe we should treat them like a plant, and give them a Latin name, a common name and a nickname. Options can't be a bad thing.

I'm looking forward to next summer, when they can spend time with my mom and me in the garden.

Other odds and ends:

Happy weekend.