I’ve never been much of a gardener. My green thumb is most apparent in my house plants; though I love digging in the dirt, my landscape theme is what I like to call “naturalized.”
I took Sunday off from life, there was one less hour in the day due to Eastern Daylight Savings – an ancient and controversial ritual of ‘Springing ahead an hour in the Spring and Falling back an hour in the Fall. My therapy of the day was to work outside, cleaning out the “gardens.” There was very little to start with ten years ago and I do feel I’ve added some color and symmetry in my haphazard way. Raking the leaves and debris unveiled a small history. The tulips my mom sent me as a house-warming present are beginning to poke through. My annual assault on the wild strawberries might just “bear fruit” this year as I see less of the invasive vines creeping across the topsoil.
Alice followed me contentedly around the house, in and out of the garage where I clattered about searching for tools; rakes, brooms, garden cart, shovels and clippers. One final trip for gloves after my fingers were already full of prickers. Every year I dump the pots and window boxes of annual plants into the gardens to supplement the thin topsoil. I decided to move a bird feeder only to find it took six tries to locate a spot in the yard that wasn’t 6 inches of soil with solid granite ledge below. Once the stake was in the ground I emptied the old seed into the freshly raked garden and refilled the feeders. I may get sunflowers and thistle, and I may not be here to see it bloom.
Rudbeckia seed heads were picked over by the small birds but I shook out the remains for good measure. The giant poppies I relocated from my elderly friend’s farm are already popping/poppying; though they have endured the last two days of freezing rain.
In the backyard I uncovered the day lilies and gently tore out their gray skirts of dead leaves. They are spreading across the edge of the ledge, slowly taking over the hill. For a brief month every year they are spectacular.
The garden will slowly continue to fill in. The next steward will put their stamp on the property. I can only hope to leave a template for their dreams.
A day in the sun and the dirt, a day less in the story of my life in this house, one more step forward into my next adventure. Planting ideas and sowing thoughts…