This is my friend Tracy and my daughter "Pea". In February of this year I had an abortion. I was 23 weeks pregnant. The baby had hydrocephalus. It was a severe case, it was doubtful he would even make it through the birthing process let alone live a fulfilling life.
It took a while get test results and come to the conclusion that we needed to do this. My husband and I were devastated.
During the weeks we waited and hoped the baby's issues would resolve themselves in utero I needed something to take my mind off the situation. I needed to feel productive so I started working on our front lawn. We tried to grow grass when we first moved in, but grew weeds instead. After a year of wasting water on weeds I was done and ready to do some xerscaping.
We live in the San Fernando Valley. I want to do a drought tolerant, some-what native garden that still has a green feel. The cost of keeping the lawn green in the summer is just too much and it's not an eco-friendly solution. In January the weather was cool and lovely so I started my project which I know will be a long, work in progress for a few reasons.
1. I don't have the budget to spend a couple hundred dollars at a time on plants.
2. With the "Pea" my time is very limited as well.
3. I"m learning as I go. This is all new to me so I'm planting and replanting.
My friend and neighbor, Tracy, has been a huge support for me through all my difficult times. Knowing I was on a gardening mission she introduced me to a great nursery, Theodore Payne. I bought California Rockflower, Vine Hill Manzanita, Creeping Snowberry and a few Fescue grass varieties. I haven't killed any of them to date. It's so amazing how many drought-tolerant plants there are. Most people think I'm going to fill my front lawn with cactus. On the contrary, these plants are green and leafy, what you would expect to see in a New England landscape.
Most of my work so far has been pulling weeds and prepping the ground for planting. I'm also working on the side median that faces our neighboring school. I feel so bad the kids have to look at our God-awful looking yard with knee-hight weeds. I promise, come the new school year it will be beautiful.
Gardening and the support of my friends and neighbors are what have helped me steer clear of sinking into depression after what I've been through. For some reason watching my plants grow helps me feel better. As if being able to keep them alive counteracts the baby that I couldn't. Tracy listened to me share my pain as we shopped for plants on many occasions and that has given me sanity.
My front lawn is looking better. Slowly but surely. It will forever remind me of the child I lost but in a good way. When I work there I feel quiet and calm and sometimes I feel like my lost child is with me. The plants are a reminder of the cycle of life and how we must all take care of each other. I take care of the plants, the plants take care of me and Tracy took care of me.
And my son, I hope to see you and hold you in my arms in another life.
Labels: garden, neighbors