Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gardening Insanity

It's been hot.

So hot, in fact, that 3 digits appeared on my outdoor thermometer.

When faced with either 3 digits or single digits, The Hatchet does not exit the building.

This week, however, we finally had a break in the weather. When it went down to "just" 85 degrees, I went outside and started weeding like a mad woman. And I dragged Eric into it, as well.

"Honey, can you help me with this weeding? It'll go so much faster if you help me." Suckered in by my honeyed words and fluttering eyelashes, Eric agreed. When the mosquitoes came out, he went inside to shower. I remained until full dark.

When all of the mosquitoes had my number. Even with bug spray on.

Little bastards!

The next day I asked Eric to dig some really big holes for me. First, it was just a matter of moving 2 2' tall grasses to the front yard. Then it was 6 light starved agastaches, also to the front yard. Then it was "Oh, can you move this 4' tall shrub 3 feet to the left? Thanks!" He sweated and strained and reflected sunlight (He needs to get out more. I'm being helpful!) and moved plant after plant. Then there was that 5.5' tall elderberry that had to go down and to the left 12'. Of course, after that one time I asked him to move a tree, everything else has been gravy. Mind you, the tree was getting spindly and sad from a decided lack of sunlight so it had to be moved and it is much happier where it is now. (It's easy to boldly move plants around when the other option is to just let them die! And when someone else is doing the shoveling.)

It's OK, he knew he was doomed once I had that look in my eye, 4 new plants to put in the ground and a section of yard that still gets full sun and yet was covered in weeds. Those weeds had to go, you see. They were hogging the sunlight! Those plants needed to be installed. The other plants were crowding one another. The garden needs me!

And I need Eric to do the heavy digging.

I make the plans, he does the heavy digging.

Never fear, though, while he's shoveling for all he's worth in the hot, hot sun, I'm off to one side ripping out bushels of lambs ears, giant daisies, butterfly weed and assorted weeds or flowers that have gone too far. To give you an idea of how much weeding we're talkin' about here, I have a 64 gallon compost bin from the local disposal company. I filled it in moments, from just one small section of my yard. Then I kept on ripping out weeds and had enough to fill a pair of 24" pots. Then the piles start appearing around the yard.

I've got a lot of weeds. (Still no hummingbirds, though. Where are they?!)

The insane gardening will continue as long as the cooler weather holds. Plant roller derby by day, mosquito feast* weeding sessions at night.

When it's done**, it's gonna be gorgeous!

Of course, gardens are never "done"....

* If I catch the West Nile virus***, no one will be surprised.

** Funny thing about gardens: it's never about immediate satisfaction unless you're referring to weeding. It's all about delayed gratification! It will be at least 2-3 years before the plants we just moved into place will fill out and look like I can only hope and imagine they will look when mature. In the meantime, I just have to keep on shuffling plants around like so many chess pieces. "And this one needs more sun and that one is a weed and this one needs to move down front...."

*** I really hope I don't catch West Nile. I feel itchy. Do you feel itchy or is it just me?


ellen said...

You're making me itch...

BigChunkySoul said...

4 wheelbarrows full of weeds yesterday, and nowhere near the end! I think all of the hummingbirds are here in the foothills of Boulder....we have them almost year-round at my house. They're quite bold, actually, and a few will come around the patio when the cats are out (which, of course, drives the cats insane, and I think the hummers know that!)

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

LOL I definitely feel itchy. Not only from the mosquitos (that search me out like I'm a magnet). Sure wish I could have seen a funny picture of Eric digging and sweating. You are a slave driver. LOL. Wow that is a lot of work for one weekend!

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Ellen: Scritch, scratch. Scritch. Scratch.

BCS: You're holding my hummingbirds HOSTAGE?! Aiee! Actually, I finally have at least one. Possibly a juvenile or a female. I can't get it to hold still long enough to make a final determination! That plus the babies screaming seems to keep them away.

Candy: He look grumpy, sweaty and dirty. Not exactly at his best, but I may yet get a photo of him slugging it out with weeds! And I AM a total slave driver. We're STILL not done!

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