I've never been a gardener. When my sister and I were kids, we each had a large vegetable garden that we were responsible for. The gardens clearly showed the effects of my sister's love of bugs and dirt and plants and my complete apathy. Sure, I loved running out and finding produce, but the dirty work that required was definitely not something I enjoyed. I did enjoy building, wrecking, and then patching the mud dams my sister and I continually built on the edge of our gardens.
After Jared and I got married, I tried planting a pot of nasturtiums. They grew wildly in our window, but they never bloomed. Possibly due to the sporadic watering and constant cat-trampling they endured. I didn't care too much.
When we moved to our little house in Oregon and had our own little yard and a crazy little girl who enjoyed it so much, I wanted to plant things. I wanted to show her the growing tomatoes and the blooming flowers. I wanted to use our fresh herbs in our food for her to taste and smell. And they grew. They all grew and thrived and were completely and wholeheartedly enjoyed, even the tomatoes which were constantly having their fruit ripped off by little fingers and stuffed into a waiting mouth.
We took the flower pots with us when we moved. Sadly the herb garden and tomatoes had to stay. But the flowers were special. Ryann had planted them with me, her very first hands-on gardening experience. Which included a sneakily gained mouthful of potting soil. So we loaded the pots into the UHaul and brought them to NE with us.
They lasted through half the summer and then dried up. It was probably the lack of water. I forgot they were on the deck. I had no little one to share them with and didn't care much anymore.
But this spring I've wanted to plant again. We bought herbs for the window boxes and tomatoes for pots. We tried saving three flowers that were given to us, but didn't have enough dirt at the time to fully pot them. So I used the matted, clumped up dirt from Ryann's dead flowers. All of the gifted flowers survived, although one is barely hanging on. But I noticed a few small sprouts shooting up around the flagging plant. At first I though they were random weeds that had blown into the pot. Then I realized that they had been in the soil all along. They are the long-suffering survivors of Ryann's flowers. The flowers we planted together and brought across the country. The flowers I let die last summer after I lost my little gardener. They've sprouted again and they look like they're planning to stay.