Monday, October 15, 2007

A New Hobby

Because I didn't have enough hobbies already, I decided to start gardening. Oh, and I have a very brown thumb. I think I've simply looked at plants and killed them before. But, I was tired of looking at the "flower bed" in the back yard, with broken edging bricks and weeds.

Last week, while we were at Home Depot, I picked up about 8 packs of tulip bulbs.I was just going to dig a hole and stick them in. Simple, right?

4 trips to the store and a couple hundred dollars later, I now have everything the professional gardener needs. Saturday, I began weeding the bed, and decided that the edging bricks had to go. And since we're getting a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy soon, we should put railroad ties along the back to prevent the dog from digging under the fence. So, I should move the edge of the garden out a few inches. Oh, and since there's a tree stump in the way, I should move it out a few more inches, so it's not in the way of the new edging. Of course, it rained me out Saturday, so I washed the many gardening tools I now had, and put them away. And, of course, it stopped raining. So, I decided to clear out that spot in the front to make way for the lillies up front. And since I was fixing that anyway, I might as well put some sand below the drain-catcher-thingy (what are those concrete things called that go below the drain from the rain gutter?) and make sure it's positioned right.

I discovered a few things along the way. First, whoever planted those "decorative onions" should be shot. The only thing growing in the back garden (besides some very healthy weeds) had really tall leaves, and I thought they were a flower that had stopped blooming. Turns out they're some kind of onion. And the roots of them had all joined to become one, and were very strong. Getting them out took at least an hour, maybe two. And was far more difficult than I had expected any of this to be. I had to snap pieces off with the hand rake-thingy (maybe I need classes so I'll know what these things are called?) and dig them up a small piece at a time. I finally got that done on Saturday.

Unfortunately, Sunday brought a worse problem. That tree on the other side of the fence had invaded! It seemed like such a small tree, so I'm not sure how it managed to get so many roots on my side - and so thick, too!

Dax, having broken ribs, kept helping even though it hurt him to do so, but I can't swing an axe if my life depended on it. He kept showing me how, but it was a pick-axe and the head was messed up, so it kept tipping, which didn't help my already poor aim at all. I was able to cut most of the roots. And since I couldn't keep Dax from helping when he knew I needed it, I finally sent him inside and tried putting the other axe blade directly on the root in question and hitting it with a sledge hammer. Not the most efficient use of the tools, but I only missed once this way, and though my finger hurt, it didn't even break!

So, for all the pain I'm now in (have I mentioned how out of shape I am?) I accomplished planting 20 tulip bulbs, clearing and adding soil to 20 feet of garden, and putting a cute little wooden edging fence in front of that same 20 feet. I have 10 more feet to clear and fence, with some of that probably containing more of the roots that tried to kill me on Sunday, and need to plan 60 more bulbs. That doesn't count the 20 or so lillies that I'm putting in the front yard, or clearing and cleaning the other 30 feet in the back and 20 or so in the front, putting down the weed cover, and putting edging up in both spots.

So much for a nice, relaxing hobby.

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