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the occasions lady and

May Flowers
by Audrey Poff, illustration by Brittney Guest Osborn

Amidst all of the uncertainty we were facing last spring as the pandemic began hitting closer to home, we began spending more time outside working on various projects. By we, of course, I mean Rodney.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, he completed a renovation project that saved us thousands of dollars. A few hours at a time, he rebuilt our deck by replacing all of the boards. Fortunately, he finished the entire project while we could still afford lumber. It’s obviously a lot of hard work, but he seems to enjoy working with tools and lumber, and it gave him something to do while life was at a standstill.

As he neared completion of the deck project, I asked if he thought he could build a potting bench for me for Mother’s Day. I love planting flowers from spring to fall, but I wanted a place where I could keep things like pots, plant fertilizer and potting tools at counter level to make planting easier. It wasn’t long before he found a plan for the project and was off again to buy lumber. With Daisy the rescue at his side, he was finished with the potting bench in a few days, long before Mother’s Day arrived.

Working in the flower beds in the backyard and using the potting bench to create mixed container gardens helped keep me sane last year. I am not much of a gardener, but I quickly grew to love the design element of mixed containers – sweet potato vines, creeping Jenny, brightly colored geraniums and petunias. I stockpiled my favorites to entertain myself while being socially distant.

I also discovered the beauty of Moses in the cradle plants and bright green asparagus ferns at a local nursery and learned how to propagate them so I could share with other family members, including our daughter, Emma. I was surprised to learn that this year, Emma has discovered she enjoys working in her own yard. How could this be the same child that I used to send in the house to make iced tea for the rest of us because she was busy singing and cheering instead of working? Perhaps there is still hope.

It’s been a long 12 months, but it’s finally spring. It’s time to clear off the potting bench and plant pretty things.