The fruits of our labor

“The kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth. One is nearer God’s heart in a garden, than anywhere else on earth.” –Dorothy Frances Gurney

The backyard garden is really my husband’s project, not mine. He disappears out the back door periodically to tend to all the wonderful things sprouting up from our small patch of earth. Our daughter often goes out with him to help water and harvest.

She loves to take me on tours of “her” plants and is delighted to point to each of them and rattle off their names.

The old-fashioned roses, planted long before we moved here nine years ago. They were blooming in the middle of the wild and overgrown yard when we arrived. The yard has since been tamed, but the roses remain.

Old-fashioned rose

Mint, which I love to collect, chop and infuse into my iced tea. It’s just not summer tea without a dash of mint.

Mint

The shiny, smooth leaves of basil, so good in homemade pasta sauces.

Basil

And — almost gone now — the perfect little rows of bleeding hearts. Another remnant from a gardener who carefully tended this patch of land before we arrived.

Bleeding hearts

Mountains of dill — my husband’s favorite. He loves to make the dill rolls his mother always baked for the holidays, and he also uses it in marinades for fish.

Dill

But on this particular morning, my daughter and I found a treasure in our garden. One perfect, red strawberry, hiding beneath a canopy of leaves.

Strawberry

We plucked it early in the morning, before the squirrels found it. Small toddler hands, holding it carefully so it wouldn’t get squished.

Strawberry from the garden

Washed under the faucet with morning sunlight streaming in the kitchen window.

Washing the strawberry

And it was delicately eaten by a small girl who loves strawberries.

Eating the strawberry

Looking forward to a summer filled with flowers and herbs in my daughter’s (and husband’s) garden.