Well, August is bringing a list of non-stop surprises and I am finding myself mostly on top of the wave, even after (or possibly because) I somehow had inadvertently jumped ahead and misplaced an entire week of August. I know normal people use numbers on calendars to keep track of that sort of thing but currently, that is too complicated for my head so I am attempting to remember events in color shaded blobs. And no, my alternative time keeping is obviously not working out for me either.
Anyhow, after finding I had a WHOLE EXTRA WEEK to work with, I kicked some ass in the garden. And I owe it entirely to my neighbor, who is quickly becoming a dear friend and bright spot in my life. The girls adore her and she is always quick with hugs and encouragement. We started sharing our gardens and are both delighted to find how much more we have in common.
Miss. V is a fascinating woman, bright, and sharp. She lived and exciting life and has a million stories to tell; each one significant. She has brought so much laughter into my life. I adore her, I could not have dreamed up a more delightful and neighborly neighbor. I helped her fix her sleep number bed and re-arrange her bedroom furniture. She hooked up her trailer and helped me move four loads of mulch into the front yard.
Yes the mulch I so desperately needed to keep my project moving along and here it appears carried on angel wings. Well, actually, we worked our sassy asses off for nearly five hours to move the mess of wet leaves because it is technically ill-processed compost. It is partially broken down, free from the city, and they even load it for you. It is worth the effort although you must beware that this stuff is going to contain all the miscellaneous stuff that people shove into lawn bags including:
- Shards of broken window
- Piles of broken glass in general
- Half of a dog dish
- Toy car
- Dog shit
- Bricks… Seriously, how does one accidently dislodge and throw out an entire brick without noticing?
Our efforts amounted to two enormous waist high piles in the front yard. The gentleman doing the loading accused us of creating a mountain. Miss V told me it was not half as much as what I need. (boy was she right) but we were out of time and steam that day, so we watered it down, and covered it up to wait until I had the time, strength and nerve to figure out what to do with that mess.
My extra surprise week allowed that to happen and, my, my, how a week can change things.
We live on a corner just off the main drag, across from a busy Credit Union. It’s a little like being in a fish bowl. People notice when there is something new going on. I have been concentrating my efforts on the back yard most of this year. The front of the house has been mostly neglected except for trying to keep the weeds back, but still allowing all the different wildflowers that the previous owner planted to emerge to be transplanted as all the beds need to be rejuvenated with some organic material and they are a chaotic scramble of mismatched flowers that have overgrown their space. Nothing fancy, mind you, it just all the common, hardy, scrapers are fighting for dominance in the yard now that I have taken over the battle with the weeds. My bets are on Black-eyed Susan, and Liatris. They will be planted with the Lilac hedges with some Grape Hyacinths and yellow Day Lilies around the boarder, and a few Lupines to fill in the middle. After a couple of years the front yard is going to be a riot of purple and yellow almost weeds, Spring thru autumn…
Currently, it is an eyesore of dead lawn and overgrown flowerbeds. The mountains of mulch attracted a lot of attention. People slow down to see what I’m creating and watch the progress. One old man circled my house in his big, white diesel truck and shouted, “Good girl!” as he rolled out of sight… WTH?
So, all of sudden, this garden project that has been so good for my well-being is causing an unreasonable amount of stress. People are watching. I try to do the work at night. Not the tilling, mind you because that is a noisy, tiring job. But after I spread the mulch into the appropriate flowerbed shapes, I add soil and mix it into the top layer of mess in the front yard. It is just one of those little Mantis-type tillers which is not too hard to use even if you are only 5’2”. I fire it up and pretend I am riding a motorcycle which takes some of the monotony out of the job. As much as I enjoy working on the garden and setting down roots, my soul just wants to run free. I imagine the neighbors and the rubber-neckers think it is strange that I can work so hard wrestling with that tiller with such a big idiot grin on my face. It’s just more evidence that I am as stark-raving mad as they want me to be.