The sweetest Valentine’s Day gift I’ve ever received came today in the form of my Oma, who pulled into my driveway this morning with her Ford Taurus stuffed with two dozen bags of red mulch and her trunk full of plants.
She was a German workhorse on a mission.
Basically, my front yard has looked like hell for a year.
Joe and I have been so busy and broke lately that the last thing on our minds is landscaping, not that we don’t curse our grass-less front yard and dead potted plants every time we walk from our cars to the front door.
The first year we lived in this house I lovingly tended to the plants and shrubs. Two years ago, my mom and I planted fuchsia petunias that flowered so big and brilliant the neighbors stopped to admire them.
Remember last year’s vegetable garden? The thing went bust midway through the spring. We ended up with a handful of cherry tomatoes, two deformed bell peppers and one cucumber. We’ve yet to plant another garden, or even one patch of marigolds (Joe’s favorite flower).
I’ve been slacking in the horticulture department. Big time.
Enter my Oma.
She’s a master gardener with two green thumbs, two green pinkies and two green toes.
She could grow a bed of orchids in a leaky bucket in the corner of a dungeon. That is if she had a dungeon.
The small yard surrounding her park model offers few landscape opportunities, which (I think) has made her stir crazy.
SO … today she arrived at my house with enough mulch to carpet the neighborhood and enough ferns and flowers to manicure a golf course.
I had several appointments and various phone interviews, so I was in and out of the house and otherwise occupied all day.
By the time I returned from my last appointment, she had filled all my empty pots with pansies, planted small sprouts of greenery where dead scraggly bushes once crept, laid more than a dozen bags of mulch and replaced the batteries on all my burned-out garden lights.
The funny thing is, I’m not even sure she knew it was Valentine’s Day.
Bleeding heart photo by Simon Whitaker