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Friday? Really?

Posted: August 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: garden | Comments Off on Friday? Really?

This week has been a bit of time out of time. For the first time in many, many months, I’ve had no editing projects in house — I was able to wrap up one a little early last week, and the next has been delayed — so I’ve had a whole entire week to just . . . putter. It feels weird. I spent the whole week not really having a grip on what day it was, not really consulting my to-do list, not dealing in absolutely-must-get-dones. When I went to bed last night, I could have sworn it was Tuesday night. Really.

I started Monday with a bit of a brainstorming session, knowing that I had at least a couple of free days ahead of me. I took my tea out to the front porch first thing in the morning and made a new list of all the outdoor projects I wanted to tackle in the next two years or so, just to get them out of my head. (I’m easily distractable when I’m working in the yard; I always see a dozen other things that need to get done that I don’t want to forget to do, and before I know it, I’m working on a bunch of things all at once. I needed some focus here.)

I’ve been working on the rock wall out front all summer, digging out this horrible invasive ornamental vine that is near impossible to get rid of (chameleon plant, or Houttuynia cordata — never, ever, ever plant this horrible thing in your yard). Earlier this summer, I pulled all the rocks down from one end of the wall and dug up the dirt behind it. This was actually a good thing, because that part of the wall was way too steep and the rocks were always tumbling down off it anyway, so I was able to take advantage of the opportunity to lessen the slope a bit. Then it got ridiculous hot and I got crazy busy, and it sat for a while. This past weekend I had time again and the weather cooperated, so I was able to get more of it dug out and partially reassembled.

Monday, as I sat with my list staring at the rock wall mess, I decided that today would be the day it would get done. The Lowe’s car-loader-upper guy was skeptical, but I assured him we could get those three bags of rocks, four bags of dirt, and eight bags of mulch in the Saturn. With room to spare. And we did. (I kind of wish they’d send the car-loader-upper guys home to help unload, though.) I got the rest of the rocks put back in place over top of some landscape fabric, and dumped the broken bricks, cinderblocks, and drainpipes that had been hidden under the rocks in my scrap pile back in the woods. I filled in around the rocks with the dirt, dug a trench next to the driveway and filled in with some rocks to help with the drainage, and put a nice layer of mulch over all of it.

Then I mulched this section in the backyard that I’ve been meaning to do for a few months now. (See “easily distractable” above.)

And then back to the front to dig some more of that stupid vine out of areas that don’t have rocks. All in all, a very good, productive day. There’s still about thirty square feet that needs to be dug out, but it got hot again, and I moved my attention indoors. Those of you who follow me on Twitter or are friends on Facebook saw what I bought, but it’s going to have to wait for another post for all the gory details.

rainy days and Tuesdays…

Posted: April 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: garden | Comments Off on rainy days and Tuesdays…

…make me happy, actually. This week, anyway. The gardens are crying out for some cleanup, the invasive viny weedy things on the hill are begging to be dug up before they get much bigger, and while I thought the grass could go another week or so before I started cutting, the neighbors having theirs cut yesterday have revealed that to be not quite so true. But I have a full slate of editing projects on my desk this week, so I must resist the siren song of the outdoor work for a while longer. The rain helps.

the beauty of spring

Posted: April 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: garden, life, nature | Comments Off on the beauty of spring

Spring, finally. Real spring, not simply calendar spring (the advent of which is usually followed by at least one snowfall). Spring for me is the day the daffodils pop open, this year coinciding with the day the “Nana plants” start to bloom. (“Nana plants” because Nana had a lot of them, and some of those offshoots have made it through a number of years and a number of gardens to my own garden, and I can’t ever remember the real name of this pretty, spready plant with the cool leaves and pretty white flowers.)

Nana would have been 104 this week. Papa would have been 103 last week. We buried Aunt Vera, Papa’s sister, earlier this week, at age 93, the last of her generation that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. My family tends to live good, long lives, full of adventures and opinions and guts and general good health. I hope I’m as lucky.

Love of the garden runs in the family, too. When I was a kid, a visit to a family member’s house also meant a walk around the garden to see what was blooming and what was thriving and what was next up — and it is still so. We pass around cuttings and divisions and help fill in each other’s gardens with the bounty and overgrowth from our own. Our garages harbor rafts of extra pots and trays to throw in the trunk of the car to capture a cousin’s unruly hosta or an aunt’s choking iris.

I was thrilled with the progress I had made on my little gardens at my little house; here in the bigger house there are more gardens to fill, in worse condition to start with. There’s so much to do that it can be overwhelming, so this year I’m focusing on only three smallish areas: digging out the rest of the invasive vine from the little hill next to the driveway (started last year); the garden around the back patio; and the little garden right outside my office window, which is the one I see for most of the day most every day. That latter is actually part of my plan for my office. Since I spend so much time looking out those windows during my workday, I think that garden should be particularly nice.

And because today is such a lovely day for work in the garden, I think it’s time to get to it.