Sunday, July 09, 2006

the reward of the overly energetic

Today was a long-awaited day, a day full of 'someday when I have time, I'll...' A chronic list-maker, my list of DIYs had reached alarming proportions - almost the length where any sane person would throw it out and start over. Most days are full of lists: imagined, instinctive, reflexive. We go through the day, doing the various things that need doing, many so often repeated that they sit, liquid, in some part of the fore-brain which instructs the hands and feet to do the dishes, the laundry, change the diaper - all without fully involving the active consciousness.

So, today. We started with my partner perforating the eldest under a nurse's watchful eye. I didn't dare inquire how it went: success is paired with a triumphant declaration, failure comes with small person sized howls and a grumpy adult. And then it began.

The eldest and I went off to the local and thus overpriced nursery. We bought an array of plants: ferns, bug-biter-something, coneflower, spider plants, fuscia and a delicious smelling honeysuckle. We then fortified ourselves with juice from Dunkin Donuts, and proudly bore our booty home. There, we dug up an enormous hosta from the (sunny) front yard, and split it into five pieces. These, we transplanted into the (shady) back yard. We then put most of the shade plants into the back yard, and filthy, had to stop so that the eldest could be cleaned up and sent off to a birthday party.

While he was gone, the baby and I stared at each other, marvelling in the quiet of our home. We played our newest game: toss the ball. This was oodles of fun, especially as the babes tends to gurgle and bounce with pleasure, but eventually he tired of the game and crawled off in search of something interesting. I also wandered off, scooped him up and went up to the study, where I filled a happy hour disentangling him from the computer wires and child-proofing them in these little plastic sleeves that snap shut. I've been meaning to put those in place for months! and the presence of the sleeves and their box has been a mocking reminder of my failure to get the job done. Take that, o box.

But then, glory! the eldest came home and we went straight out and finished the planting. We planted the last of the ferns, the fuscia, the coneflower and ah me, the honeysuckle. Then I experimentally spread some mulch, and was delighted to see how nice it looked.
Note to self: buy lots more dark mulch.

We sat and rested a moment, and cast our gaze upon the work we'd done. It was a wee bit like being in a Matt James show, in which the garden starts off straggling and sad, and ends up being lush and lovely. Except that we have mud where we ought to have grass. And the planted beds look lush where we have mulch and a bit straggly where we don't. Okay, so maybe like there's still fifteen minutes to go on the program... Anyway, we cast our eyes on our work and saw that it was good. kudos to those who identify the quote...

And here is where the overly-energetic thing kicks in. As my aching back bears witness, we then went on to the adjoining garden (there's no fence between them and yes, we had permission), and weeded their garden. The child and I yanked out swathes of weeds, discovering an ancient flower bed, some coneflowers that had long since naturalized, and some kind of groundcover (stonecrop?) and could it be?? aged lilies of the valley, all buried under weeds. At some point I looked up to find three full bags of yard waste, and the child resting comfortably in the neighbor's recliner. Clearly, we were done for the day.

And now, yes, we rest. But all hail the hidden hero of this piece: my partner, who managed the babes, napping and walking him while the child and I committed feats of cultivational folly.

Tomorrow: Ben Gay for my back and we spend the neighbor's money on some few hardy perennials. I'm thinking some thyme and maybe something else perennial and somewhat drought-resistant. The other guy is an absentee owner, and never puts in any upkeep, so his plants must be pretty tough to survive. Any suggestions?


dykewife said...

day lilies, violets, columbine...all those things should grow fairly well and are reasonably drought resistant.

magid said...

Edible things that are hardy, maybe? Mint and chives come to mind first. Morning glories reseed themselves, though they're not perennial. Possibly cane fruits? (raspberry, blackberry) (though they have prickles, but they're hardy).

mama o' the matrices said...

We went with: coreopsis, blue fescue and stonecrop (already growing there). The garden also already has some coneflower, which will go beautifully with the coreopsis.

Next year: chives and daylilies all of which will spread and naturalize nicely. And violets, which I also have on my side.

Hmm. This could go on for a while.