Garden Weasel


“It is a testament to how much I love you,” said The Lovely Rhonda, “that I am out here right now doing this.”  She said this as she helped weed the front bed, for it is legendary how much she does loathe the working of the soil.  And then some kind of stinging insect wrought its revenge upon her foot, and still she did not quit.  Clearly I am undeserving.

Our house was a rental for years before TLR and the ex-Mr. TLR bought it around five years ago.  The landscaping had once been rather complicated, with berms and excavated areas and expensive weed-suppression cloth under the beds and so forth.  Over the years the berms had merely become nuisances when it came to mowing, ditto the excavations, and the weed-killer cloth was tattered and patchy and so covered in years of bark mulch and soil that the weeds merely laughed and moved in atop it.

I am only one person and the yard is largely my domain, so these projects are generally self-inflicted.  I asserted my dominance over it the first summer (two years ago) by removing a nasty bush that impeded exit from the back door by being scratchy and in the way.  It also generated a fine horrible dust that infiltrated the house and clogged up our laptop fans something fierce.  I also took a lopper to the trees and just cleaned them up a bit, and mowed on a fairly regular basis.

Last summer we had a couple of guys come and over about a ten hour period they removed huge amounts of yard debris from the estate.    It looked fantastic, I must say, if your definition of fantastic is pretty generous.  I guess it’s a relative term.  Relative to when I first laid eyes on it, when it was weedy and overgrown and the grass was dry and brown.   They also scraped off the berm and filled the depression, and for this I and the mower blade thank them.  I recall that we tipped them generously.

This year we’re preoccupied with various medical bills and other expenses that we’re paying off, so we’re unable to hire much done.  To that end I’ve had to once again break out the gardening gloves and the long-handled implements of landscaping destruction, my favorite being the three-tined fork, quite civilized yet destructive, much like my own self aside from the civilized part.   My goal this year was modest: dig out the bed along the front of the house from the door to the western corner, and plant things.  Also, keep them alive.

At any rate, part one of that goal has been met, and next weekend I’ll be laying down the bark mulch.  I’ve planted many things: an azalea, astilbe, hydrangeas, a type of heather, and a couple of coleus.  The coleus will most likely not survive the winter but I know the chances of actually digging them up and bringing them in are pretty much nil.  In the meantime we’ll get some color out of them.  Hey, the Gerber daisies weren’t supposed to survive either and one of them did.  You never know.

The other bed, between the front door and the garage, I planted in Gerber daisies and some other odds and ends.  This year it has a few daisies again (the aforementioned survivor among them) and some trailing purple thing, and a white thing.  Probably this would be a more interesting post if I’d saved the little plastic tags.  We couldn’t resist a lavender plant (we ARE lesbians, after all) and a salvia.  Slowly we’ll get some perennials in.

The price of these small improvements: I have a blister on my right thumb, and every joint from the waist down is creaking whenever I am called upon to bend in any way.  Naturally, this was the weekend that we had no pews in church (floor was refinished, and is beautiful, I wish we never had to bring the pews back into that space) so I was obliged to sit on a rug and get up and down several times in the course of the service.  Motrin, take me away!


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