Gardening and graduation

I’ll start with the graduation part. It was awesome! My sister graduated last weekend with her master’s degree from Columbia College Chicago. The whole fam made the trek to Chicago, which was quite an adventure. But we managed to get everyone where they needed to be, and spent one lovely afternoon at the art museum, which I hadn’t seen since high school. And after my second visit I still need to go back again to see everything.

Then Sunday we attended the graduation ceremony, and it was so much better than any graduation I’ve ever attended. When we sat down there was a band playing and people singing. Not your normal hum drum ceremonial music. It was more like a gospel choir.

And throughout the whole thing Columbia’s performing arts students treated us to a bunch of performances that were American Idol-worthy. When the different majors came in they were dancing and holding up signs. Then the speaker was a stand-up comedian (I guess it helps to be near Second City.)

Anyway, the whole thing was just so unexpected, and it was a great sendoff for my sis.

When I got back to Des Moines, the sun finally decided to come out again and warm things up, so I got to work on the side garden.

I dug out a bunch of weeds and planted a little mini veggie garden with eggplants, basil, and a hot pepper plant (Wenk’s yellow hots).

I noticed while I was over there that the big rose bush actually has buds on it (yay!), which means I must have done something right when I trimmed it earlier this spring.

Then I weeded and mulched the flower section.

All the perennials have come up, but over the years they have spread into a weird configuration. I am thinking I need to move some of the pink flowers in front so that they form a straight line, and then plant some more flowers to fill in the empty hole in the back. That should be pretty easy to do.

The secret garden is going to need a lot of work, though, and after weeding one small patch and hauling six bags of mulch I am dreading doing any more work like that. But the thing about gardening is that once you do a little you want to do a little more. Or a lot more.

I also planted some more herbs in the pots on the front porch. The dill looks fantastic.

And I added some English thyme.

The mint is thriving now in its own pot. Mojitos??

In the back yard the transplants are doing a little better now, but we did lose a couple of tomato plants. Luckily we can usually find the same ones at the farmers market. We have to have our tomatoes!