Sunday, April 14, 2013

Old People Gardening

Friday night we had a heck of a wind storm.  I was sleeping like a baby when a big WHOMP!! bolted me upright and set the dogs to hysterical barking.  I lay there terrified for about five minutes before I could get up the nerve to see what had happened.  When I finally opened the back door, I found a big mess and couldn't get out the door.  A big gust had lifted off my greenhouse (weighted with 25 pounds of lime) and it had taken out the Weber.

You can imagine the mess, although I was able to save the last of the onion and beet starts.  I just shoved them back in their little pots.  They actually survived and I planted them out in the garden this morning, just before it started to rain.  Those Red Dog starts are true Northwest plants and tough.

I had dinner last night with a couple of my favorite old friends who have just recently moved into their new home.  We go back a long ways.  We all used to run around years before their two children were born (I'm the Godmother) and now those kids are grown.  Time flies.

Anyway, we were discussing gardening when you have health issues, such as chronic pain.  Back in the old days, we used to party at their house and they had the most beautiful yard and gardens.  Drunken croquet players were threatened with death if they hurt anything in the flower beds.  Gardening was their big love and it really showed.  The place was the garden of Eden.

Now that their beautiful new home is finished we were discussing what kind of gardening can be done when you can't mow, weedeat, or dig.  I've answered the mowing and weedeating question by having Chris, the Yard Barber, take care of it, and they do a good job.  The rest I take care of but it does take a toll.  I've been slowly moving my flower beds into shrubs because they don't usually require all that dividing, staking, etc.  Usually a good clean up once a year is all they require.

And lots of mulch to keep the plants happy and the weeds down, or at least, easier to remove.

You remember this guy.  When I got the all-clear from my doctor to dig I went after him, and it just about killed me.  This was a huge clump and probably not the best candidate for my first shovel job, but I did it anyway.  Once I got the thing onto the grass, I tried to stab it to death with the shovel, but it would not separate.  It was such a matted mess.  Finally I took the pruners to it and slowly, and I do mean slowly, got it handled.  I was hoping for at least three pieces when I got done, but the whole process was so brutal that I was lucky to end up with one.  He is a beauty though.

This is my hardy fuchsia, which I don't clean up until I see the lime green of his eyes in the spring.

I trim him down to the green buds and he rewards me by being gorgeous in the summer.  You can see by the old growth how big he gets, and just full of hooker pink blooms.

Since I was in the mood, I went after the lemon balm.  This guy can be a real garden thug and spread all over the place, so I have him in the corner of the deck, where his edges sometimes get weedwacked.  He grows up and through the bird bath, and is handy for reaching over and picking a few leaves for ice tea.  The birds love him in the winter.

Not being able to garden would be a tough one.  It is just about the only thing that keeps me out of the tavern.  Just joking, Miss MoneyPenny rarely drinks any more, mainly due to being a real sissy who can't deal with a hangover.  But gardening is that important to me and I will find a way to do it until the bitter end, even if it is just some gorgeous pots on the deck.

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