I didn't set out to have a Container Garden. It just sort of evolved. I started with a small paved patio with my plants in pots on it, which I was constantly (accidentally) running over with the wheelchair. My containers were reproducing like rabbits, and the plants to go in them could only survive in leftover cottage cheese tubs for so long.

Well, it really started back when I bought one of those magazines. This magazine had a "BEFORE" picture that may as well have been taken behind our house - the dryer vent, the piles of junk, the parched earth, the "nobody loves me" look. And the "AFTER" picture - oh, my! The foundation planting, the carefully thought out hard-scaping, the flowers, the butterflies!

So, my husband was building a raised bed off to the side. The new bed was in that corner previously only known for its clutter, weeds and dead grass, in sort of a no-man's-land between the garage and the kitchen. He was working with mortar and bricks, and he ended up with a long curve where I was expecting a short straight line. Oh no, what to do? He refused to undo his hour of hot and sweaty (if misdirected) hard work. And tomorrow would be Mother's Day. An idea was hatched, one that would require more mortar, more bricks, and our two children - no, I know what you're thinking, and it's nothing like that! They were going to be helping!

The following is excerpted from the log Operation Mother's Day 05.13.2007:


breakfast in bed, whether she wants it or not - cereal, orange juice, tea, and the usual ration of vitamins.

church - that was Mom's idea

picture courtesy of Bill Owens

1145 change into work clothes, conscript assistants #1 + #2, tuck Mom in for a 'nap' with her computer.
1155 mix mortar, begin laying first set of pavers. have assistant #1 hoe out weeds and debris to clear center area. watch assistant #2 go cartwheeling off.
1245 collapse
1300 pour first seven bags of marble chips, which assistant #1 rakes across area. it's not enough!! scratch head in puzzlement. the hypotenuse was not a straight line?

mix second bag of mortar, begin laying second row of stones.

1415 repeat for third row. train assistant #1 to lay stones. run out of mortar. still need to set one more stone, as of 2008.

bring Mom out with assistants standing in front of missing stone and bare ground. Mom is overwhelmed!!!! Operation Mother's Day is a success.

begin Mom's new game of Musical Heavy Blue Pots. sigh.

1501 back to the store for one last bag of mortar. memo to self: store unopened bags of mortar where they cannot get wet!
last year

this year