Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Gardening Isn't For Sissies

That's what Grace, the artist/gardener told me yesterday. My aching back agreed. But you know what? I had so much fun!

First, going to Home Depot's garden department with a gal pal instead of the hubster is a much different experience. Grace and I spent a leisurely hour and a half wandering around looking at EVERYTHING, choosing this, choosing that, changing our minds, putting things back, choosing something else, grouping things together to see how they look, finally deciding on something but checking all 47 specimens to get the best one ... I tell you, it was heaven. Someone said that men, being hunters, want to go in for a specific item, kill it with their credit card, and leave. Women, being gatherers, want to take their time and look at everything first.

Then we had brunch. (Men don't do brunch. They grab a bite to eat.)

Then we got to play in the dirt. The weather was great, for a change, and we had the morning shade to work in. We repotted some snapdragons that had somehow survived a year of neglect, then put in six holly bushes. She showed me how to fill each hole with water, let it sink in, then put the plant inside and fill the hole again, this time letting the force of the water loosen the roots. By the time I had one hole dug, she had done the other five because she is awesome.

We filled the two planter boxes with white petunias and a lovely little trailing ivy. I'm already thinking of what to put there in the "fall." (We don't actually have four seasons here, only two - hot and cold.)

We put the mulch down - did you know that you're not supposed to put the mulch against the trunk of the bush because it might rot? And did you know that hardwood mulch is the best because it won't float away during a heavy rain?

When finished, we tidied everything up, and stood back to admire it all. We were sweaty and had dirt under our fingernails. Note to self: I will have to get some big-girl gloves. Grace said the gloves I had on were for ladies who go out to the cutting garden of a morning. Sissies.