Gonna Make This Garden Grow

By Rebecca Fox Starr of Mommy, Ever After

When my husband and I found out that I was pregnant,

It was our greatest dream come true.

All that we wished for was a healthy baby.

When we found out that we were having a girl,

We were elated.

I was elated.

Dreams of pink and princesses and pedicures were dancing in my head.

However, there was one small problem.

Our baby’s room was not pink, nor was it princess-like, nor had any pedicures ever occurred within those four walls.

You see, before we lived in our house and before it was our baby’s nursery, it was a little boy’s room.

And by room, I mean Philadelphia Phillies shrine.

This little boy loved him some Phillies.

When I say that the room had a baseball theme, I am not merely suggesting that this boy had a baseball night-light.

Not even close.

This room had alternating red, white and navy walls.

This room had a banner, painted across the top of the walls, reading “Take me out to the ballgame.”

This room had valances made out of vintage Phillies jerseys.

And, of course, because what Phillies room would be complete without one,

This room had a dugout.

Yes, a dugout, with a green, wooden roof and a crimson player’s bench.

*     *     *

As I’m sure you can tell, this room was just the nursery I had envisioned bringing my precious baby girl home to.

Except, not really.

Not even close.

*     *     *

And so, I found myself very pregnant, and with a massive design project on my (swollen) hands.

*     *     *

We tackled the big projects with some professional help, including hiring painters to cover the patriotic walls with more suitable, girlish hues,

With names like “Champagne Bubble” and “Silver Mist”.

We hung an antique chandelier, with curved, silver arms, adorned in pale pink and ivory porcelain flowers.

I spent hours mixing and matching pink, ivory and gray bedding in velvet, satin and cotton; each piece from a different company, in order to create a set of linens that was luxurious, soft, and within our budget.

However, no amount of blush pink velvet could mask the fact that the room still had a dugout.

*     *     *

“Dugout” wasn’t exactly in my décor dictionary.

I had some redesigning to do.

I’ve always been drawn to small, cozy spaces.

As a child, I loved to build forts.

I was always building snug structures from pillows and blankets,

So that I would have a place to curl up in and hide,

From thunderstorms,

Or my little sister.

I loved having a nook of my own.

*     *     *

Looking at the dugout, I saw that it could be that kind of space for my daughter.

And so, just weeks before the impending birth of my baby girl,

the idea of an enchanted garden was born.

To transform the space, I started at the top, which, in this case, was the moss green slatted roof.

I purchased bouquets of silk flowers from the craft store, sticking to my pink and ivory color scheme, and I took each bouquet apart, piece by piece, flower by flower, leaf by leaf. I used a hot glue gun as I painstakingly placed each silk leaf, plastic stem, and pink or ivory flower onto those wooden slats.

As I spent hours gluing and placing and arranging, I felt so grateful that this “garden” would soon belong to my daughter. I felt so blessed.

Blessed, and a little sore.

Glue gun burns hurt.

*     *     *

I then worked with a dear family friend in order to cover the player’s bench and turn it into a lovely, cushioned seat. We made a skirted cover in pink and ivory toile, trimmed in a shiny charcoal ribbon. My friend sewed pillows in pink felt, gray sateen and ivory chenille, as we set about creating their embellishments.

I cannot tell you how many hours we spent sewing tiny, pink rosebuds, as a decoration for the pillows.

I cannot tell you how many times my mind wandered to my baby girl’s tiny, pink hands—hands that would soon be able to grab these pillows and hold them to her face, as she’d snuggle up into their warmth.

No greater motivation has there ever been.

*     *     *

And so, what was once a baseball dugout has now become a magical meadow, with sprawling vines, dangling plants, birds and butterflies hovering above, and downy pillows, just right for a little girl’s head to rest upon.

A place where a modern day flower child can blossom in her own garden,

Her sanctuary,

Her fort.

A nest, in which she can land, when she’s grown a bit tired from all of her flying.

It will grow with her,

As it has grown for her,

Just as she has grown for me.

Now that my daughter has arrived, she continues to bloom and grow before my eyes with each passing minute.

My love for her grows with each passing moment.

I never thought I could love another human being this much, in this way.

I never thought our dream could be this sweet.

Not even close.

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