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Fierce in Seattle: Indoorsy goes Outdoorsy [FaN Favorites]


a favorite blogumn by Kelli Bielema
The beginning of a garden?

The beginning of a garden?

Kelli Says: I think this blogumn is probably fitting because I just killed a tomato plant. It was starting to blossom some fruit, but needed to be staked. I bought the stake on a Saturday eve, with full intent to pound into the dirt Sunday morning. Come sunrise, the poor thing took a dive and lopsided. Produce is for buying at the market. Not for me planting in the soil.

From June 15, 2009

I’ve never been outdoorsy or even possessed a mild proclivity to nature. I really don’t know what’s happened to me since I moved to Seattle. Living in Los Angeles’ Los Feliz neighborhood I would hike Griffith Park frequently, and I liked to get fresh flowers occasionally. That was the extent of it. I regularly killed houseplants, including succulents, which I was told were the easiest to grow. It wouldn’t surprise me if I were till annihilate a plastic fern.

I moved into a lovely rental home here in Seattle near the end of November 2008. The house was built at the turn of the century (as in the 20th) to provide lodging for the pastor of the neighborhood church. It’s barely 600 square feet, boasts cathedral ceiling (keepin’ the faith, yo), and has a sleeping loft which I utilize as a guest room/storage area. The kitchen is open, with ample counter space and stainless steel appliances. Super fun to cook and entertain in. The bedroom is small and I have significantly edited all the junk in my life. I just need clothes, cookware, artsy things and some bric-a-brac and I am homesteaded.

I have a small patio, which I recently adorned with a couple of cushy seats and potted plants (poor suckers don’t know what’s comin’). In the back of the house is a mini-courtyard of sorts. It slopes, but it’s quaint. If quaint’s your thing.

There’s some sort of flowers & garden-y stuff that I’m pretty sure need some attention. Indifference is all I can offer them, at best. I have no idea how to give them what they need or how to administer such a practice. I can mow the lawn and trim the weeds (and some flowers will fall victim to neglect or the weed wacker). So rather than half-assing it, I’m enlisting friends for advice and assistance. That means that yes—I am now, ahem, gardening.

I hate it. It’s really awful. I’m not opposed to dirt, worms, compost or anything messy. I’m a farmer’s daughter, yes, but I’m also a city girl who knows that there are people I can pay to do this, and shouldn’t I be doing my part to keep the economy alive?

I end up putting on my trusty gardening gloves, grabbing a trowel (is that what I’m supposed to use?) and digging. Throw a floral-plant-thing in it. Cover it with more dirt. Add some water. Then water it again at some point. I think I’m covered….Now what? It grows, right? Sheesh. How long is this gonna take?

A friend told me that she really enjoys the process of gardening. She said, you can put something in the ground and from seed to shaded tree, you see the fruits of your labor. From the initial dig in the soil, to the nurturing, pruning and care of the plant, you can create something really beautiful that you are proud of. But really, I ask, how long is this gonna take? I’m all for beautiful things, but if they are requiring patience on my end, and well, it’s gonna be a long road to pretty….

So I’ve had these plants pictured here for a whole 4 weeks. I’m slightly amazed. Fairly certain they are potted wrong, but it’s a learning curve, I figure. If nothing else it’s something cute to look at it…for another month.

RIP Lavendar, Basil and Rosemary. It’s been lovely.