Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Dirt Under My Fingernails
But I couldn't wait. The weather has been warm and spectacular. Everything is covered in a light yellow layer of sneeze inducing pollen. Spring has arrived in full force and that means sticking my hands in the dirt.
I used to think gardening was something for grandpas in coveralls or suburban matrons with prize winning roses, but I've shaken that assumption. I like it. Now I'm a novice. A total novice. I'm not even sure I could be called a gardener. I'm more like a dirt dabbler. I like things that are easy, I like things that are perennial and colorful. And I like things that I can eat. And I like this website, You Grow Girl. It's full of smart-alecky, funny and straight forward information. Any site described as "under a cheeky veneer of scorn for conventional gardening wisdom lies a solid base of horticultural information" is the gardening website for me. And this article in particular was great. It smacked me in the face and said I need to focus less on being embarrassed about my gardening mistakes and instead analyze and learn from them. Duh.
So this year's Bravely Obey gardening adventure has begun. We sliced and diced our existing gargantuan hosta with a huge serrated bread knife and replanted them all around the front and side of our house. They are nearly indestructible. We split irises and relocated them along our front wall, I'm hoping they still bloom, but the leaves are green so that's a good sign. I have no idea what color they are, but we can always move them again later. Perennials are amazing. So we've got the perennials under control. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but only last year was I finally able to remember that perennials come back every year and annuals die. I kept switching the two. Joe had to keep reminding me, while rolling his eyes and feeling superior. He likes that I think.
Annuals are lovely and what I typically plant because they are what I know, I know how to throw things away when they die. And every year we seem to plant impatiens. And as pretty as they are, they have gotten a little boring. I'm trying to branch out. Not far mind you, but no impatiens. I bought bold red geraniums, some vinca vine to fill in and add some layers and textures, some violas (which are secret perennials) that I thought were pansies, but turns out there is really not much difference. They are a deep purple and vibrant yellow and contrast well with the dark green and white tipped vinca and red geraniums.
I also bought herbs this year. Chef Jeff hooked me up with mojito mint, sweet basil, rosemary, and fern leaf dill. Chef Jeff is just the herb brand, but I prefer to picture an Anthony Bourdain type in chef whites helping me hand select my herbs. That is not really how it happened in the parking lot of Ace Hardware, but a girl can dream. I'm not starting a huge herb garden. Because I know myself and I know I don't want to be weeding in July when its 199% humidity and 189 degrees outside. So container gardens for the herbs. Plus I figure if they are small enough I could bring them inside and try to keep them going. I'm planning on new potato salad with fresh dill, and perfectly crafted mojitos on the deck, and bruschetta made with our tomatoes and basil. Now we just need to buy a cow so we can whip up our own mozzarella cheese. Maybe something to add to my list, and this leads me to update that Bravely Obey in Action list progress...
12. Design a garden with plantings for each season. - I would say that this one is in progress. Kind of an ongoing deal. I need to focus a little more on actually planning and designing instead of wandering around garden centers and randomly buying things because they look pretty. I also need to ask friends and family for cuttings from their gardens. I hear that gardeners like to share. And it's cheaper.
16. Develop a better relationship with my mother. - Again another ongoing project. But we've had a good time the last couple of times we've gotten together. I'm still working on being less judgmental and bitchy. You know this is hard.
27. Take more photos. - Total success here! I'm doing it. And it's fun. Now again, like #12 I need to focus a little more and do a little reading to brush up on my technical skills, instead of just "That's pretty, I'll take a picture of it." I'm no Joe, but I'm getting better. Especially when I use his equipment instead of my crappy iPhone camera.
39. Stop yelling and cursing at people when I'm driving. - I've made a concerted effort in the last two weeks to curtail my road anger, not rage, just anger. Ridiculous, blood pressure raising, head shaking anger. Instead of cursing, when for example, someone hasn't accelerated after the light we are sitting at has turned green, I don't say "Go, you stupid motherf(*&(*er!" I now say, quite calmly and repeatedly, "The light is green, the light is green, the light is green..." and only rarely does this turn into "The f&%#$ing light is green, you douche bag!" That's progress.