I want a lush garden

Tracie Bonjour 2011

Yesterday we headed to Seattle for a family get away and ended up taking the kids to the Arboretum just off the highway. It was amazing to be in this lush, fragrant space in the middle of a concrete jungle. You could hear the faint sound of the cars on the highway and could also smell pine in the trees. It was a moment that I wished I could come back to, sans children, for a bit of quiet time. When you have children life takes a new twist on moments of solitude. Basically, there is no solitude! I was strolling through thinking, “I should come back here some day after the kids are grown and married and then I’ll stroll through the garden and just think, or read or smell things. We ended up picking and eating berries and pretending the willow tree was a tent. It was a good time….after the boy stopped complaining about how much we had to walk.

We hit Capitol Hill for an Indian Buffet where the man charged us for four plates even though my daughter only ate a bite of chicken and three chunks of watermelon. That’ll be $8 each, please! My kids aren’t completely use to the city where anything goes, in terms of fashion and apparel. We passed two “girls” holding hands (one was a large man dressed like a woman-complete with lace up boots, make up and a wig) and Chloe said, “Those two were really silly, mama”. My kids also kept staring, wide eyed, at most everyone on the streets as if we were a Tree House family that lived outside of civilization. It was amusing.

We then went to B&O espresso and Matt took three sips of his double espresso before it fell to the ground. We found a little vintage clothing boutique that sold a dress for $185 yet it had a large tear down the back. I let my voice be heard!

Lastly, we found a cute little community garden in the middle of the city where we walked through with the kids and I pointed out to them all of the flowers and veggies that were growing. They are super interested in how things grow so this is actually where we spent most of our time yesterday. It was a lovely, lush getaway in the center of the crazy city. Sunflowers, tomatoes, cosmos, strawberries…..We walked through pathways and I felt a little like I was in a jungle. Maybe this is the imaginative child in me; the one who still pretends I am on a tropical adventure whenever I get around a garden that grows flowers as tall as myself.

It made me think about how I’ve been taking back my own yard bit by grassy bit this year, and so far I have three raised beds in the back and two, large patches in the front where the grass has been overtaken by veggies, berries and flowers. Slowly but surely I want that wretched grass out of there and a haven of gardening goodness in it’s stead. I want pathways and stones for the kids to step on and winding ways for them to walk through as they pretend they are in the forest or Eden or something like that. It’s one of the ways I find rest in our urban jungle.

I love the city and all of the buildings; the sounds of horns and sirens, close housing proximity, accessibility to cafes, restaurants, museums, libraries, parks, pubs and bakeries. Yet, in the midst of my urban life, I want quite; beauty, refreshment, color and scent (good scent). This year I am on a mission to take back more of my yard and turn it into a place of rest for myself and my kids who still play-pretend they are on a tropical adventure every time the neighbor’s grass grows over two feet tall. How does your garden grow?

Tracie Bonjour 2011


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