Choses J'adore sounds so much more refined and learned than the English translation... things I adore. Not to be sneaky about it -- I used an online translation tool for this! I do NOT have a gift for learning additional languages. In fact, as a youngster, I even boycotted Sesame Street when it went bilingual!!! Since then, I have set my language-snobbery ways aside, and have (through sheer force of the public school system) studied German and also (totally voluntarily, which makes ALL the difference) dabbled in Greek.
However, this just sounds so lovely, I could almost consider studying french ;).
Anyway. Choses J'adore.
This summer is the first in many many that I've actually paid any attention whatsoever to my gardens. Well, that's not entirely true either. Every year I have planted flowers and veggies. Every year I have enjoyed, to some degree, the fruits of both. However, due to the delightful absence of post-partum blues, a remarkably enjoyable lack of anxiety resulting from child-related doctor appointments, and time around the home (when I worked full time away from home - because now I work more than full time AT home ;) - our holidays were always spent traveling. Three weeks. On the road. With only a tent and a sunfire-sized trunk full of supplies. Ohhhhh the stories we could tell!!!) I'd say this is the first year I've actually truly enjoyed the work of gardening.
1. The first step was to purge the gimpy soaker hoses that were not at all doing a good job. What was meant to save time and energy, as well as conserve water, ended up to be a colossal waste of money. WOULD have been a colossal waste of money, however my financially super-smart husband saved all receipts and we were able to return the gimpy, useless hoses for a full refund. (Note to self: go to Canadian Tire website and make sure you write appropriately negative reviews for faulty products. Of which we have tried several. All of which. Gimpy.) I whipped out a sprinkler, and really, aside from running out every 30 minutes (which, let's face it, is good exercise and gets you outdoors, right :P?) is no extra work.
Choses J'adore list - add plenty of SUNSHINE, nicely watered gardens. And yes, exercise. Because THAT has not been a regular priority since Wee One's arrival last summer!!
2. The next step was to evaluate the rock-hard-baked ground that our gardens had become. A quick email fired off to my garden-loving friends revealed to quick, easy, and CHEAP solutions.
- Peat moss. A whole brick. Used in one flower garden. I will do it again next year because the lovely soil is soooo worth it!!
- Sheep poop. We do not fertilize with chemicals, typically (though we do use weed killer). And I'm working on composting, but ahem, my dedication to that lately has been about as faithful as exercise!!! But SHEEP POOP is cheap cheap cheap, easy to spread and oh my goodness. Abundance of greenness. Weeds included.
Choses J'adore list - add quick and easy gardening solutions that yield such noticeable results AND cheap sheep poop.
3. A few fun things that I've added - a $30 bistro set, which some day I will sit at, enjoy a cup of tea, while watching the kids play (now I'm busy keeping little hands from pulling things out of the garden, teaching young ones to stay away from the road, keeping gravel out of little mouths and actually weeding and tending the flowers themselves ;P); a few pots (Jon says I have to keep these pots ALIVE for at least one season before I can even CONTEMPLATE buying new, prettier pots :)...) and a wind chime that I can hear almost every day.
Choses J'adore list - add little things that make life fun - a great deal on a table set, flowers that were purchased on a family outing trip to a local greenhouse, most selected by moi, but some specifically and lovingly chosen by both Jon AND the kids, and the sound of music, whether it is a breeze, a tinkling wind chime, the crickets or a song.
Choses J'adore list - in pictures....