House Life: Pots

Apparently, when you live in a house and spring has sprung, it's time to set about doing your pots. In the space of a few days in April, every single person I spoke to seemed to mention doing their pots. As in, "I've got to do my pots." Or, "This weekend, I'm doing my pots." Or even, "I can't wait to get my pots done!" Perhaps the weirdest thing of all is not that all of these people were talking about this mysterious pot phenomenon, but that I, too, was feeling the urge to do some pots. Not my pots, of course, because I didn't have any yet. But some pots. I wanted to do some pots.

For Easter, I gave my kids seeds instead of candy. Okay, okay. They got a little bit of candy, but mostly they got non-edible treats like cheap wands with a ball on the top that lights up when you whack it on something, stickers, post-it notes, tape (always a huge hit!) and seeds to grow. They weren't all that interested in the seeds. But I was! Something happens to you when you live in a house and have green grass and fertile ground all around you. You want to grow things.

I got the poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, daisy seeds, tomato seeds and bell pepper seeds all planted and ready to go. Dutifully, I sprayed my seeds and took them outside on a tray to get sun by day, and back inside to stay warm at night. Once the poppy seeds started to sprout tiny little sprouts, I was feeling pretty awesome. Then, it was time to get my pots going. 

But life is busy and got away from us and the poppy seeds died. I don't know what happened! They were going gangbusters, those little gals, but I suppose there were so many of them in that tiny egg-carton sized pot that the roots choked on one another and couldn't keep going. Then, a few days later, a squirrel ate my sunflower sprouts. Who knew that squirrels eat sprouts?! But I was determined not to give up. I started the sunflowers again with the second set I had bought (two kids, two sets!) and began to run out of time. The "doing pots" window was closing. Everywhere I went, everywhere I drove, I was seeing pots. Over at my sister's for dinner a couple weeks ago, I saw her pots by her front door and on her back deck. "Your pots look great!" I said. And inside I was saying to myself, "I've got to do my pots!"

It turned out that starting things from seeds was not going to work so I went about doing my pots the normal way. I got plants from a variety of greenhouses and nurseries in town and then went up to Target for the pots. I got some large pots to go on the front porch and a hanging pot, which I am absolutely in love with. It was so easy to put up with these little hooks.

I was really happy to see that Target also carries organic potting soil. If you're planting herbs or tomatoes or anything you'll eat, you need organic soil! It also put my mind at ease to have my little helper getting his hands in the dirt and inevitably eating some knowing it was organic.

Finally, my mom gave me this fantastic pot that has the little cups on the sides for strawberries. It makes me pretty excited to think that we'll have berries growing on our front porch sometime this summer. What a treat!

Overall, I found the process of doing pots so totally satisfying. I don't know how I feel about taking care of a full yard. After all, we don't even mow our current lawn! Our landlord sends round a weekly mowing and edging service and I love it. But having the pots, I'm into that. Totally into it.

Now that we are living in a house and doing all the things that go along with it, I feel my dreams of owning a house sort of slipping away. I doubt it will ever go away completely, but this whole buy a house thing we've thought we were working toward, it might not actually be for us. Don't get me wrong, the pull to nestle into a space and have green things growing all around is real. It's like an instinct that aches inside of me when we drive through the neighborhoods of my childhood while taking Coco to school, past all the beautiful homes with manicured lawns and gorgeous pots flanking the front steps. It grabs me right in my gut when I walk through the garden center at the hardware store and smell the familiar zing of fertilizer and bags of soil. As Americans, we seem hardwired to grow up, to work hard to buy a house - and then to spend all of our free time and energy (and money) caring for it.

Part of me thinks I could probably go ahead with that pre-ordained plan and find my way and be just fine with it in the end. But do I really want it? Would our house just wind up owning us? Wouldn't I rather be spending my weekend up in the mountains hiking or shopping in the city, rather than stuck at home staining our deck and mowing our lawn?

I don't feel the slightest urge to take over caring for our current lawn and yard. Just give me a few pots, and I'm good.


  1. We own a house, and I can't tell you how often I, can't we just move into a townhouse or condo or something? I sometimes feel like we're drowning in house chores!

    1. It truly seems like most people we know here really enjoy all of the time, money and energy they spend on their houses. BUT, I think we might feel more like we're drowning as you described! Thanks for the accurate description. Hang in there! ;) xx


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