Friday, May 14, 2004

Speed Gardening

It WAS my habit to start working in the yard and garden in May, and treat it as a "work in progress" all the way through October.  I used to take the whole summer buying plants, developing little garden rooms and futzing with them, doing major fix-up work on the hardscape, (like painting the deck or the fencing.)  I LOVE spending hours, even days out in the garden, totally neglecting my housework and everything else.  Enjoying just being outside.  Getting to know my resident wildlife, and having them get to know me.  It's what I DO in the summer. 

That is, before I acquired a business that takes me away from home (and yard) through most of the season.  I have been doing "speed gardening" for the past two weeks. I have to get it DONE done in one month, along with all the other things I have to accomplish this month, while I still have some time.  (These include preparing my home for a visit from out-of-state family, chasing after financing for school, and doing some product research for the business, including actually developing products that I have already put on my menu for the season!)  I had to plan all my garden areas, and go out and get the stuff to fill them up NOW, or else it won't get done.  By the end of the month, it all has to be in place, the drip irrigation system will  be assembled, and it pretty much has to look after itself until the middle of September.  

You know...I love having my own business.  There are so many things about it that WORK for me.  But this is one of the things that sucks about it.  I can't let gardening be the season-long labor of love that I want it to be.  And doing anything to this cursed property takes so much time, that I don't feel like I get anything accomplished.  I have enough time to try to sort out everything that has deteriorated from last year, and I don't get to try anything new or exciting.  It's not like I can just go dig a hole and plop new plants in the ground.  I have to hack out a way over-sized hole with my...well, what do you actually call that tool?  A Japanese hacker?  Anyway, I have to scrape out a ton of the nasty clay that is heavily impregnated with gravel, amend it with something that more closely resembles a growth medium, pat it lovingly back around the plant, and hope to God it will grow.  (And at least 30% of the time, it DOESN'T.)  Last night, it took me two hours to put six plants in the ground.  Not trees or bushes, just perennials out of six-inch pots.  Ugh!

I guess I have to admit, progress is being made.  At least it doesn't look like an abandoned rental anymore.  Well, NOT... it sort of still does.  The landscaper came by last weekend and sprayed the lawn with agent orange (or whatever they use to kill it with), in preparation for the new sod we're supposed to be getting.  So I'm guessing the neighbors still are not too happy with me.  The girl down the street stopped out front and asked, "So what are you going to plant?"  I said, "Grass..."  She looked at me like I was crazy...probably thinking, "Well, you really haven't proven you can take care of grass..."  Another neighbor said to us this evening, "Your trees looked so pretty when they were blooming..."  I could almost hear, "But why does the rest of your yard look like it was stuck by a bomb?" 

Oh, well, tomorrow is supposed to be the last nice day before a crappy weekend.  I have to hit the caffeine early, put myself on "fast forward," and see how much more I can get accomplished before the weather hits.             


  1. I thought MY soil was bad.  Two hours for six plants??  That would make me throw up my hands and let the weeds just take over.  I'm sure they're almost impossible to get out of the ground anyway.  Good luck getting everything accomplished.

  2. Simply reading about the work you have set out for yourself exhausted me.  You seem to have an amazing amount of energy and ambition.  I'm sure everything will come together for you in time, both your garden/yard and future educational goal.  I'm rooting for you!

  3. Where do you get your energy?  That's a mighty full plate you're working on.

  4. I feel tired just reading it. ;-)  Actually, I love the outdoors, too, but I suck at gardening.  Everything I plant proceeds to die.  It's also too hot in the summer to do gardening work, at least here in Texas.

    Good luck with getting it fixed like you want it.  Sounds like you're making progress. :-)

  5. I think it's great that you enjoy being outdoors and gardening so much.  I think it takes a real special skill to be able to have the perfect looking lawn and/or garden.  And like you said, it requires a lot of time.  I look forward to seeing some pics when you feel like sharing...

  6. Thanks Lisa.  For everything.  A loved garden is a beautiful thing to behold.

  7. hestiahomeschoolMay 22, 2004 at 11:55 PM

    Our former house had a heavy clay base.  I turned it into good topsoil over the thirteen years by composting everything...even getting organic refuse from orchards, the racetrack, people putting their leaves and grass clippings out on the curb. It did help, but boy it was a lot of (sometimes smelly) work.