First, you must meet my husband, "the Muscle" behind many of our projects. He usually agrees to my crazy ideas unless it's too expensive. Let's just say I can be a bit impulsive and sometimes he begrudgingly goes along with them. The first one I remember is when we had lived in our house for about 1 month. There were huge, and I mean about 12 feet tall and 7 feet wide rhodies in our front yard about 3 of them. It was spring and they were in full bloom covered in bees. They completely blocked the view out of our front windows and prevented the pink flowering dogwood from getting enough sun. So at 6:30 in the morning he went out and cut them down. He does agree it was a good idea, but probably could've waited another week or so until the bees were done. Another one was a yew tree that was growing about 2 feet from a ponderosa pine in the back yard. I bugged him so much about it, he finally went out, barefoot and with an ax and practically chopped a toe off in the process of removing the tree. I'm sure he could remind me of many more, such as the pathway I started that he looked at and said, "that's way too narrow!" So he went out and redid it, and I have to admit it does look a lot better. In the future I plan to show some of the projects he's helped me with. Most of them are for "Mother's Day" or "My birthday present". That way I don't feel as guilty thinking of the countless trees he's removed, wheelbarrows of gravel, dirt, compost, etc he's moved, holes he's dug, fences he's replaced, planters he's built, and money he's spent to help his wife!
Next is our first daughter Sweet Pea. She has been out in the dirt since she could walk. She's 21 months in this picture. My Mom bought her the ladybug gardening gloves that she's wearing. She just loves being outside whether it's checking on plants in her garden, eating the sugar snap peas (her favorite!) or just making up a "story" and acting it out. I still have to beg her to come in and she's 10 years old now. She will be out rain or shine and usually the second she finishes her homework until we either have to leave for a sports practice or it's dark. She's an athlete with a heart of gold. She loves drawing flowers from her garden and always puts up with me when I ask her for her opinion about how something looks. I can't think of how many times her family outing has ended up being a trip to one of the local nurseries. I think she was 2 1/2 or so when she started identifying different flowers in our garden and now points out plants in other peoples yards when we walk or drive around. She loves to pick out plants for her own gardens. She dug and made her own last year in the shadiest part of the yard. She chose all the plants that grow there. She's had her own vegetable garden since she was about 3. She loves to go out and pick bouquets for friends and teachers. Hardly anyone can leave our yard without out her yelling, "wait!" as she runs around trying to find the best flowers for them. My first memory of her bringing me a flower was when she was around 18 months old carrying a tulip to me with the bulb hanging off.
Our youngest daughter the Littlest Gardener just turned 2. She's a hard one to photograph. She really doesn't stop moving much. She also loves to be outside around the flowers. Her favorite things to do in the yard are feeding the pond fish, blowing bubbles and letting Sweet Pea feed her blueberries and peas. She sits on "her bench" and waits to be served. I started feeding her those blueberries when she was about 1 year old. Now, she will only eat them fresh off one of the bushes, not from the store. I hope this coming summer she will continue to enjoy being out in the garden, and maybe she will help me plant the sweet peas her Dad loves so much.
Last, is our little white dog. She is friendly and sweet, loves kids and is very patient with all of the love she gets from our girls. She does, however hate to be outside. I'm not sure how we ended up with a white dog that would rather be inside while we are out enjoying the sun. She will occasionally lay on a lounge chair in the sun, but the second someone opens the sliding glass door she is there ready to be let in. Sometimes I "make" her stay out with me, occasionally she really enjoys it, but usually it's because the Littlest Gardener spilled the fish food and she gets to eat what we can't get to. Our sweet little dog is also the reason we had to put a fence around the vegetable garden. The first year Sweet Pea had success with carrots, I went over to find Gracie pulling them out and eating them. She is now banned from that area unless we are supervising her!