A budding welcome.

Dear friends,

In the days leading up to Mother’s Day, Mr. Mom and Parker worked hard to build a raised flower garden for me. It wasn’t much to look at back in May — a few railroad ties arranged into a rectangle at the edge of our woods filled with freshly fertilized dirt and sprinkled liberally with flower seeds. At the time, I took a photo of it to show you, but there wasn’t much to see so I never got around to posting about it.

But when I got back from New York City, Mr. Mom couldn’t wait to show me the all the growing our little garden has been doing. My flower plants are fully leafed out and bursting with buds.

And there’s even a tiny purple bloom among the sea of leafy green.

I can’t tell you all the varieties of flowers in my garden because I literally pulled random packets of seeds off the shelf at Lowe’s and didn’t even keep track of what we planted.  I figured the fun would be in the surprise of the bloom that awaited me. I think July is going to be a great month for fresh flowers around our house.

One of the things I hated most about leaving our previous home is the cutting garden we planted in our back yard. At its peak, it was bursting with color.

That garden produced enough blooms to fill a vase for my Sunday supper table every week from June until September. I knew our new place would never truly feel like home without a cutting garden, so I was grateful that Mr. Mom and Parker were willing to provide the hard labor to build the bed exactly where I wanted it (in a perfect sight line from my kitchen windows) and haul dozens of wheelbarrow loads of dirt from our bottom land to fill it. And I should mention they’ve dutifully watered it every day since we broadcast the seeds on Mother’s Day.

Mr. Mom has always been diligent about harvesting and drying our flower seeds each year, so after we plant a garden we never have to buy more seeds. It makes me feel so Mother-Earthy. (And I haven’t even lifted a finger!)

I noticed in New York City that even the most humble abode — surrounded by concrete as far as the eye could see — often had a pot of flowers on the stoop or in the window.  And flower vendors seemed to thrive on every other corner all across the Big Apple.

Clearly, no matter our environments — urban, suburban or rural — flowers fill our lives with beauty as surely as air fills our lungs with oxygen. Last Thursday evening, in the middle of an “up and coming” neighborhood in Brooklyn where we visited my niece, I spied a modest pot of geraniums brightening up the saddest and dirtiest stoop on the block. I took note and said a silent thank-you for my 15 acres of Missouri heaven where the love of my two boys will be in full bloom all summer long.

With gratitude {for my two able gardeners, who I like to refer to interchangeably as “Tall Juan” and “Hunky Hector”},

Joan, who daydreamed on the flight home of a “shop girl” existence in the West Village where she would break new ground as the neighborhood’s finest purveyor of cupcakes AND fresh flowers