Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday in the yard

If ever there was a perfect spring day for garden work, this surely qualifies. Warm, but not too warm. Sunny, but not piercingly so. And so work I did.

Oh, I got off to a slower start. A leisurely breakfast...

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A coffee with a friend who is in town... a few random weed digs at home.

And that's all that was random, or distracting, or leisurely. The rest of the day I worked. Hard.

All the hours outside, I could not help thinking that these truly are the most beautiful days. During the half year when nothing shows growth, color or even life, I look for other signs of greatness. A blue sky, a snowy landscape, a bird, a deer, a cheeper daintily side stepping ice.  I refuse to just look forward to something better.

But then comes this...

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And this, and this...

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Beauty is relative, except when it's not.

We are in the throng of beauty.

I suppose I should record at least some of the detail of yard work: I nudge Ed to help me trim the old orchard (I haven't the strength to slice some of the thicker limbs; he's there, mostly hidden, like a Waldo in a sea of cream)...

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...and I finally get him to mow the grass (it hasn't been touched since... September).

For me, the biggest undertaking is the start of planting of the big field that runs by the road -- our first garden that's visible to the public eye.

I've learned a lot about growing perennials in the decades I have done this. They're hard lessons, often coming on the heels of failure. This may well be the last big flower field that I start from scratch and you'd think I would do it the right way: prepare the soil months in advance, create obvious boundaries, pay attention to the way the sun travels over it. But I don't worry about any of it. We pile on the chips, I dig out as much grass as I can and with the help of composted matter, I put in stuff that I love. This time I do something a tad new: I intersperse it with annuals, with seeds, with bulbs. It's a  diverse bed, one that can sport the slogan -- coexist!

As I put in the first plants, my butt facing the road, my hands sore from digging past the mat of grass, I think about how many such plants I've put in in the course of my life. Many. So many. But never too many. No, never too many.

(A view toward the great courtyard bed.)

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Late in the evening Ed comments -- I saw the groundhog a lot today... Running back and forth between his residences... Probably doesn't like his neighbors (the rabbits) in one of them. Loud, with kids (bunny rabbits) running around... He (the groundhog) is so cute... I wish our neighbor didn't shoot them (our neighbor guns down many small animals that cross his lawn). I reassure him -- Our groundhog will be fine. He stays on farmette land.

This is our day today. So much accomplished! So much still to do! And that's such a good thing.