Sunday, October 12, 2008

To Feel the Earth

(Favorite gardening clogs)

My house came with a very small, and initially very blank, front garden. For the last eight years, the task of planting things in my small garden space and watching them grow has given me a great amount of pleasure. A couple months after I moved into my house, my parents brought me hostas and liriope from their garden in NC. At first I thought that the plants looked puny and were planted way too far apart, but in eight years they have spread and filled in so much that this fall they desperately needed to be divided. Gardening is a great teacher of patience that way.

Normally I plant twice a year -- once in the spring and once in the fall -- and make a reasonable effort to tend to things as they grow throughout the year, but this year my fiance took over the spring planting and the summer tending. As a consequence, when I took to the garden with trowel in hand yesterday morning, it had been almost a year since I had probed the earth. Yesterday we divided some huge clumps of my parents' liriope and transplanted them into a tree box in front of my neighbor's house. That was our good deed for the gardening season, because the tree box was completely infested with four-foot tall weeds before we tackled it. Today, we moved some existing plants around our own yard and planted some new perennials -- coral bells, creeping phlox, and goldilocks -- and some annual color -- pansies and snapdragons. Now we get to sit our aching bones down and admire our handiwork.

I didn't realize it until I got to digging yesterday, but I think that I had been in serious gardening withdrawal. I must be one of those people who needs to dig in the earth and tend to plants in order to feel good. Once, when I was talking on the phone with my mother a few years ago right after one of my planting sprees, she spontaneously asked me if I had been gardening. "How could you possibly have known that?," I asked her in amazement. "I could tell by the lilt in your voice," she replied. I think that right now I probably have that lilt back.


Merle Sneed said...

I do love gardening and share your pleasure in it.

Reya Mellicker said...

Cool! Can't wait to walk past your yard and admire the fruits of all your hard labor.

I especially love it that Hillizens tend the tree boxes so lovingly.

I love snapdragons! Will check them out tomorrow.

Barbara said...

When we remodeled our house and redid our front beds, the little hosta and lariope plants seemed so small and so far apart. In 8 years they have increased tremendously in size, to the point where they seem to be taking over. The good news is there is not a lot of room for weeds. The bad news is our front beds have a rather wild unkempt look to them. I'm not sure how to bring things under control. Maybe I need a consultation from you after your work on your own yard with these same plants.

SSC~ The Domestic Diva said...

First of all I love the pink gardening shoes!!! Secondly gardening from what I hear is an escape. I can't see that as I kill every plant or flower I try to bloom. My mother loves to plant so much and once she gets in the grove she can go for hours. Her help, ie me quits after five min.

You should post pictures of your work so we can see!