Monday, March 03, 2014

What a Great Day

My husband is a genius. Let's just start with that.

Let me back up. Holidays with gifts (like birthdays and Christmas) are a tricky business around here. (Not for the kid. She's easy. Get her a stuffed animal and she's thrilled.) But for us grown ups, a little more thought is required. We really want to take the opportunity to show each other how much we appreciate each other by getting just the right gift, but there's that minor problem of figuring out what that perfect thing is. We usually think of getting something related to each others hobbies, but don't know enough about them to get just the right thing. Hmm.

Granted, this is not such an awful problem to have or anything. :) 

Anyway, today is my birthday, so my husband was faced with this dilemma once again, and he really stepped up to the plate. This weekend, he announced that for my birthday, yesterday would be family garden day. The whole family would be totally at my disposal for garden related activities. Not to be a total megalomaniac, but Mother Nature even got in on it by giving us a very nice rain shower the day before, making it very easy to dig things up in the garden. (Thanks Mama!) 

It. Was. Awesome. I decided we would start the day by going to a nursery I had never been to before. I chose Whitfill Nursery, which immediately became my new favorite nursery. I can't believe I've never been there before. First off, my kid loves it, which is always a huge plus in my book. When you first walk in, there's a huge porch swing, which she loved:

And there's chickens and roosters everywhere for her chase around:

Happy kids make happy mamas! As for me, I love that the entire stock (except the indoor plants) are locally grown. I don't care what your politics and thoughts on sustainability are--that's just going to make the plants do better in my garden because they're already used to local conditions.

Also, the staff was great. Within minutes of walking in the door, they advised us to go to the desert section because the plants were going to be easier to take care of. They have a whole section full of beautiful tropical plants, but they weren't doing a hard sell on them. I like that. Plus, their selection of desert plants was great.

I was in seventh heaven. And my family was very patient with me while hemmed and hawed trying to decide what to get. I was trying to decide between a few different plants when I noticed butterflies fluttering around the bush morning glories. Well, that sealed the deal:

Also, Noelle at has advised me that bush morning glories are great because they survive arizona winter frosts well. As we wheeled these towards the check out counter, the same staffer who had pointed us to the desert section when we walked in smiled and said, "See! Those are good plants!"

After a nice lunch, we got home and got to work. Of course, we planted the plants we got at the nursery. (Well, not all of them. I still need to put in the bush morning glories.) But I did put in a nice agave I picked out:

And my husband constructed some grape arbors for me. (It's hard to actually see the grape plant beneath the wires, but it's there.)

I did a lot of work digging mulch into my vegetable patch, planted some carrots, corn, and marigold seeds, pulled up some broccoli that had finished flowering, pulled up a dead bougainvillaea, and made a small dent in the ongoing side yard cleanup project. Meanwhile, Chloe planted a butterfly bush in one of her garden beds. And our new rescue dog Elsa did a good job supervising the whole effort:

It may have been one of the best birthday presents ever. What a great day.

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