Saturday, February 03, 2007

Not quite as sick: a stab at gardening

This morning I felt at lowest ebb, but after a good nap and a warm lunch, I went to my very first ever massage appointment, courtesy of Mr. Trillwing, who insisted I go after I complained about how stiff and sore I was. And boy, was it nice! I have a thing about being touched by strangers, but this woman immediately put me at ease. I made another appointment for a few weeks from now because hey, we're made of money, right?

The massage, coupled with some really nice weather, made me feel well enough to go outside for awhile. I did some very tentative gardening. In the backyard (which I need to document in a "before" photograph because it is very dull), I picked up a bunch of dog poo and turned over the very hard, clay dirt in one section of the yard. It doesn't look as if anyone has gardened there for a long time; the only visible signs of life were a couple of ants. I think I'll start a compost pile soon so we can get some quality soil amendments.

Major milestones for Lucas, who was wandering around the yard while I stabbed at the dirt with a shovel:

- putting a dirt clod in his mouth for the first time.
- stepping in dog poop for the first time.

Way to go, son!

My front yard is also pretty nondescript. The yard is oddly shaped because the house we're renting has a HUGE garage that juts out well beyond the front of the house. About half of the deep, narrow yard is covered in ivy, which makes sense, since it's shaded and grass probably wouldn't grow there. Then there's a strip of grass, and then, along the walk up to the front door, some really ugly bushes that the guys who do the lawn apparently have hacked into rough, elongated spheres. The worst offender is a giant rosemary bush (about 6 feet in diameter) that has eaten several other plants, including a huge salvia and a couple of miniature rose bushes. So I hacked away at the rosemary and salvia and uncovered not only a rose, but several old beer bottles. It looks as though some previous renters or their friends were a class act.

Unfortunately, when you garden, things look worse before they get better, and I'm sure the neighbors across the street don't appreciate the half-hacked rosemary and salvia bushes, which now display several years of dead wood. I didn't clear them because I developed a blister from the clippers before I got that far into the task. (I am a wimp, and have not yet resupplied myself with the appropriate gardening gear, e.g. gloves or loppers.)

I'm hoping to put in some small colorful flowers to start, and then when the family budget settles sometime in March or April, buy a few rosebushes and some other nicer plants for the spring. Maybe I'll even be inspired to buy a little table and chairs for the backyard so we can eat dinner outside from time to time, or so I can read out back while Luke plays--you know, in those few precious weeks of spring before it gets to be 95 to 115 degrees every day.

Gardening is a good way for me to ease myself back into exercise after many months of being pretty damn sedentary. And if I plan it right, I can get everything into the ground before May, and then simply do light maintenance during the summer months.

Bonus: We have a cherry tree in the backyard. I can't wait to see what type it is (keeping fingers crossed for Bing) and if it fruits well. Unfortunately, someone has pruned it back so that it's very tall and without much of a canopy, so I'm not sure how many cherries we'll be able to harvest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

so sorry to hear that you (the rest!) have been sick. glad things are getting better...