The tenant in the house next door told me that when he looks back on this time in his life, he will always remember me with a shovel. That’s a fair assessment. When I look back on this time, I’ll also remember me with a shovel. I must have dug a ton or two of dirt, removing weeds and grass from what I hope will one day be a mini wildflower meadow.
You’d think after all those weeks and all that effort, I’d be glad to hang up my shovel (literally, hang it up — my long-handled tools are hung on a rack on the wall of my garage), but apparently not.
I got a notice that one of the bulb collections I ordered will be here in a couple of weeks. The place where I want to put them was once part of a graveled driveway. I figured it would take me a while to dig through all that gravel to get deep enough for tulips and daffodils, so I decided to get a head start on the project. It did take a while, but now I’m ready for those bulbs whenever they get here.
Still not completely fed up with shoveling, I’ve spent the last couple of days digging up more weeds. Although this property isn’t particularly wide, it’s long, and hasn’t been taken care of, so there are a lot of weeds to dig up. I cheated in the spring and early summer and simply mowed them down, so I made use of this gorgeous weather to dig up the roots of some of those weeds. Luckily, a lot of the worst areas for weeds are now covered by weed barrier fabric and rock, though I’m not sure how long that will last. Although the fabric was the strongest available, grass is poking through the fabric. Come to think of it, it’s called a weed barrier, not a grass barrier, so I can’t blame false advertising for the holes in the fabric.
I’m planning on taking the day off from shoveling tomorrow, but since I have nothing else planned to take the place of the “fun,” I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself outside with a shovel again.
I’ve managed to keep enough plants alive to give me hope that one day all this work will be worth it, though it’s worth it anyway — it gets me outside, gives me something to do, and fills my head with garden dreams.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.