Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fresh Dirt and a New Project

I've mentioned in the past that I'm not much of a gardener. If you could see my yard (front and back) you'd agree whole-heartedly. There's stuff there, among the overgrown grass, clover covered ground and dandelions, but it's not exactly well-maintained. I get overwhelmed with the idea of gardening. I tend to kill things, and I don't like to put much time into maintaining them. If it's easy, like the azalea bushes I inherited (just watch them grow and trim them once a year) then I'm fine. But if it's high-maintenance like the weeds taking over my back yard, I'm not thrilled.

Until tonight. I spent three hours in my back yard weeding up a storm thanks to the encouragement of my boss's wife. She cleaned out her own huge garden last week and had to divide up some of the plants that had spread a bit too much, and she asked if I'd be interested. When I hesitated, knowing I wouldn't know the first thing to do with lamb's ear and day lilies, she offered to come home with me and help me figure it out. Now I'm hooked.

She showed me what to keep (the tiny little rose bush just getting started, the daffodils, the curious "grasses") and what to get rid of (even some of the pretty stuff). And then we started weeding. Weeding is like a meditation. It doesn't take a lot of thought, but it takes just enough concentration to push out all the other stuff. We spend a good hour digging dandelions and clover out at the roots in a tiny little section of my yard's border, but it didn't seem that long. I can definitely see myself getting addicted. At least until it's 90 degrees outside.

I'm exhausted, my back and legs are going to be a bit sore, but the fresh air and company did me so much good. And now I'm not afraid to dig and plant and water. I've got wonderful ideas (thanks to the woman who gifted me with her time, knowledge and castaways), but I'm starting small. For now it's weeding the rest of the boarder and starting a little herb garden. After that, we'll see.

(I'm sure you're going to want to see pictures, and don't worry, I wouldn't miss documenting my first in-the-ground gardening project for the world. It was just too dark to take the pictures by the time I got everything cleaned up. I'll post pictures soon, I promise.)


NoRegrets said...

I can list all the things that are easy to grow, meaning you stick them in the ground and they grow. That's my kind of gardening! Hostas. Irises. Garlic. Mint, oregano (But put those in a pot so it doesn't spread all over.) Daffodils. and more... yay! too bad I"m losing my garden.

patresa hartman said...

EXCITING! i think gardening must be addictive. when we moved into our house, i started by just extending and replanting 2 beds in the front. loved that so much i ripped up a big plot in the back yard. last summer, i ripped out another plot in the back yard. i don't know what i'm going to do this year.

there is such satisfaction in seeing your work pay off year after year. i love the anticipation of spring -- waiting to see how all of my perennials will look this year -- bigger? fuller? greener?


Ami said...

no regrets - You'll have a new garden soon. And I'm definitely sticking to the easy things.

p - I'm afraid that's what's going to happen to me. Thing is, I don't have much of a yard, so there's only so much I can dig up before it's starts to look a little odd. Hopefully I'll be able to control myself before the obsession goes too far.

nejyerf said...

yardwork is a little beyond my physical capabilities right now, so i'm going to stick with pots of flowers. petunias and pansies and geraniums and the like.

i might get adventurous and do some herbs. but the deer will probably come up on the deck and eat them.

deer are like rodents here in NJ

Ami said...

I'm not so good with flowers, but I'm hoping that my foray into gardening will help with that. Any tips?

Ah, the rodent-like deer. I remember them well...I planted my herbs in pots again this year. They seem to do OK like that, but next year I might try them in the ground, if I get this landscaping thing under control. Thankfully, the rodent-like rodents around here seem to stay out of my herb plants, and even the tomatoes I planted last year. The rodent-like birds on the other hand pecked holes in the few tomatoes that actually grew, so there won't be anymore of them this year. Now I know what farmers must go through...on a very, very small scale of course.

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