At last! Sunshine!
Spring came late and will leave early, but the weather is finally good enough for me to work outside for extended periods! I can sit outside in my bicycle shorts and my tank top, soaking up as much sunshine as possible, puttering and planning, and making sure the little "poop factories" are cleaned up after...
Six seasons of neglect on my part have taken a toll on my garden. The back gates need to be rehung, the back stairs and the small landing needs replacing, the patio needs to be power washed (as does the entire exterior of the house, but I'm not looking at that just yet!), the holes in the lawn (yes, Penny still digs and now Coco has taken up the hobby! Drats!) are getting filled over time with spent annual soil, ashes from my wood stove, composted leaves and whatever else I can find. Not to mention that the lily pond needs to be (finally and completely) drained, with the lilies parceled up for those who would like some, the liner and original pond form sold for cash, and the hole (which has been there since 1999 when the retaining wall was built) finally filled with crushed up pool table slates, slabs of sod from the "old" rose garden and topped with crushed rock so I can use the broken slates left behind by the fleeing ex... and smashing them with the sledgehammer to make them more portable will be a pleasure I may share with a person or two!
The wretched cherry trees are a flop with all the rain over the last few years... dropping "immature" fruit and shriveled leaves daily. It's a mess I just don't want to have next year, so they will be removed with my little chainsaw. I have a "home" for the logs and they will be used to make dishware - since the wood is also organic the chips will be used to "smoke" barbequed cuts of meat by an aspiring young chef!
My sadly overgrown rose is blooming for the very last time, because when it finishes blooming next week I plan to rent myself a chipper and systematically cut and shred every damn branch! It is covered with the most evil little thorns, overgrown and entwined in my favourite apple tree, making it difficult to even cut the lawn in that corner of the yard. When that goes into the chipper I am also taking out any blackberry brambles as well as the thorny and fruitless plum tree in my blueberry patch. I don't need the big, heavy machine so I will be able to drive into PoCo and wheel the smaller chipper up the ramp into the back of "Big Blue" and get myself busy... And when the chips are "done" I will be building a new and magnificent compost heap, and hopefully restarting my little patch of heaven where I grow the best chard and green beans ever!
This week I actually started the clean up, cutting the grass and removing the clippings, picking up the dog poop, triple bagging it (think "diaper genie" for containment and you get the drift) and tucking it into my trashcan on garbage night along with dead food from the fridge. So it's actually gone! The patio is slowly getting weeded, washed, cleared of furniture; Dad's old stove "ate" some greasy cardboard and a pile of old cherry wood until the coals glowed orange and the stack spat little cinders that resembled shooting stars.... and I sat in my chair, folding and tearing the cardboard into small pieces and basked in the warmth while the mosquito lantern kept the little bloodsuckers at bay... and my Penny slept at my feet, basking her doggy self at the same time. My garden has already had friends enjoying it, little dogs over for playtime, laughter and wine, tales of travels and best of all my little Grandson playing on the patio bricks where his Mummy and his Uncles played over 20 years ago... and it's good.
Like all jobs it needs to be done one thing at a time, in the order that makes everything go smoothly enough to keep myself rolling and keep interested in the process. I have plans for the end of the month, so making sure my garden is "guest ready" is my priority... well, after laundry, and vacuuming, and cleaning the floors... and bathrooms... but all those mundane things can be done when the sun has gone down for the most part. So, while the sun is out I will be letting myself soak it up like a sponge, recharging my solar battery, watching the little dogs run like maniacs with their buddy Sheldon the cat, and smiling ... a lot.... Oh, and if a friend or two drops by during the process I will take time to enjoy their company while I putter, because there is nothing nicer than having a friendly voice for company while the garden grows... and while I heal a little more. And I'll have a decaf no sugar and lots of cream, please! Iced would be nice, too!