LJNDawson

Book publishing. And everything else.

Archive for the tag “gardening”

The Dirt Between My Teeth

Bernardo and I spent the morning in the garden. We have great intentions to garden every day but what with the heat wave, my travel, and June basically being Hell Month, we let it get away from us. Here’s what happened:

Our beautiful rose-and-hosta bank has been completely overtaken by crabgrass. EVIL crabgrass that choked out the myrtle we’d planted to…keep out the crabgrass.

So today Bernardo began digging it up and mulching.

Meanwhile, I set about divesting the hostas of ivy, more crabgrass, and other weeds. The hostas love the heat, though – they are all standing up straight like soldiers.

The fig tree, too, is sprouting so many figs.

And the pear tree seems to be loving the heat as well:

We tied up the tomatoes, which are booming along, and de-crabgrassed around the herbs as well. So many amazing smells. I came out of the garden with lines of dirt under my nails, dirt crunching between my teeth, and a veneer of dirt and bug spray on my skin.

Mrs. Delpriore’s Garden

Our house was owned by the same family for years and years. Mrs. Delpriore was an avid gardener. She developed Alzheimer’s around 2000, and died in 2007 or so. The house was inhabited by her son and his wife, but they just kept the garden from being overgrown.

As we’ve been digging, putting in beds, clearing horrible vines that have no discernable purpose except to strangle other plants to death, we’ve gradually uncovered a lot of Mrs. Delpriore’s original work. It’s rather like The Secret Garden – and as endlessly gratifying. A few months ago, we found long-buried colonies of lily-of-the-valley (a favorite), and I’ve moved those into the back flowerbed – out from under the azaleas where they’d been hiding – so they get more visibility in the springtime.

One of my most treasured finds – after whacking away at six-foot-tall weeds, and large prickly bushes – is a rambling rose.

It produces these teeny tiny little flowers. I found four or five plants – I aim to let it take over the chain link fence.

I also found ferns:

Our fig tree is safely in the ground, getting over the trauma of transportation and transplantation, and producing baby figlets!

We also found evidence of an existing fig tree – there’s a sapling shooting up in the middle of our tomato bed. Bernardo’s going to try to re-root it.

Our Bosc pears are booming – the Bartletts not so much, but that will happen next year. The Bosc tree is adorable right now:

Our knockout roses are going full steam – our bank of roses looks pretty great.

That’s our next-door-neighbor Lou in his chair above the roses – he’s a history teacher and spends his weekends sitting in the sun, listening to music, and reading. Pretty blissful.

We also planted clematis, which Bernardo insists on mangling into “Clytemnestra” or “chlamydia” every time he tries to name it.

They should take over that bit of chain-link fencing as well. We aim to have it all covered with the rambling roses, honeysuckle, and clematis.

 

Spring

It’s happening.

Bernardo and I have made two pacts: One, to do a wee bit of gardening every day. Today we dug out the old chrysanthemums and pulled up some roots, and discovered termites in our woodpile. Two, to practice our golf swings every day. Bernardo tore up a nice bit of the back lawn. Me…I’m tentative. Much more concerned with form. I’m happy that at the last lesson, I connected on all but two swings. I don’t need to send it out far, but I do need to at least get it off the tee.

Mostly, I love my golf clubs. They are SO PRETTY.

And they make me feel like Barbie. So many accessories! Cleats, and a glove, and a towel, and tees, and two kinds of balls. All those club-cozies (and no, I’m not knitting any). Oh, and the golf pro! He is the BEST accessory. I had half an hour with him and he taught me a LOT.

As we do the garden, I’ll post before and after pictures. For now…it’s all before.

Dueling _s

Lawnmowers.

Yep. His ‘n’ hers.

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