Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Yesterday was an errand day. A friend and I went to a nearby town to shop for necessities, and since plants are one of my necessities, I bought a chrysanthemum. I stuck the pot in a hanging planter, and will enjoy the color until it’s gone, then I’ll put it in the ground.

Today was a digging day. No, “digging” is not a new euphemism for “great,” like a shortened version of “hot diggity dog.” Nor is it a euphemism for a terrible day, like wanting to dig a hole to hide in.

A digging day is merely a day for digging. But then, you knew that.

I spent some time digging in my future micro meadow, though with as little as I am able to dig each day, and considering how long it will take me to dig up all the old Bermuda grass and weeds, it’s beginning to seem like an macro meadow of vast acreage instead of a mere 200 square feet or so.

I also took time out to winterize my greengage plum tree by making a dirt barrier around it and filling it with mulch. I did the same thing for the tree that died back. It was supposed to be a six-foot tree, but all that survived the winter was one tiny branch right above the graft site. I cut off the tree above that branch, and it’s grown a bit. Maybe it will continue growing. If not, well, I have a replacement on the way. Luckily, they won’t be sending the new tree until the end of winter instead of the beginning as they did last year, so it should be able to settle in before it has to deal with the cold and snow.

The most exciting thing I did today was count my wildflower seeds. Well, a quarter teaspoonful of them anyway. The directions say to plant a maximum of 75 to 150 seeds per square foot depending on soil conditions and how colorful of a meadow is desired. I dreaded doing the small chore, imagining seeds all over my kitchen, but in the end, it was easy. I laid out a white piece of cardboard, sprinkled on a quarter teaspoonful of seeds, and then moved them around with the tip of a small knife. In case you’re curious, there are 100 seeds in a quarter of a teaspoonful.

Tomorrow is a car day. The mechanic seems to be well again, so we’re going to try once again to get the brakes fixed. If for some reason he isn’t there, or if he doesn’t feel up to doing the work, I’ll turn around and come home. It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before, though one of these days, the work will be done. That would be a surprise for sure!

And the day after that? It will be a work day, but anything beyond the scope of yesterday, today, and tomorrow is too far away to even think about.

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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

A Garden is but a Dream

Today was another digging day. Since the ground still retained some moisture from the last rain, I thought it would be a good idea to finish clearing out more weeds before the sun baked the clay soil into some sort of adobe. I’m sure a better idea would have been to rest up today after yesterday’s exertions, but I wanted to finish weeding one particular section.

I considered putting sod in that area, but I will lay down sod for a patch of lawn in the front yard, and I really don’t want to spend the time and effort — and water — to groom two lawn areas. As I was digging up weeds, I noticed there was plenty of knotweed in the area, which passes for grass in this arid climate, so I considered just watering the area and letting the “grass” grow to add a bit of green to the backyard.

But, as I was weeding, I had another thought. When I first moved here, before I got into landscaping and gardening, I’d considered turning my yard into a meadow. Even that takes a lot work, so I abandoned the idea, but a small meadow would be perfect for the area I’ve been weeding. That triangular plot of land will be sectioned off by hard pathways on two sides and the sidewalk on the third side, and I can see all sorts of wildflowers blooming there. Even better, it won’t matter if the “grass” grows between the flowers or if an occasional weed gets a roothold, because that’s the point of a meadow — anything goes.

The real issue for me is to get a mix of short wild flowers. I’ve been researching wildflower and wildflower mixes, and so many of the flowers grow four to six feet tall. Eek! I’d get claustrophobic with such tall plants in an open area! They would be perfect for outlying areas along the fence, but I’ve already planned other flowers for those areas — hollyhocks in one spot and a lily forest in another.

I finally found the right mixture at a seed place that caters to farmers and businesses with acreage to fill, so I’ll have to buy more than I need, but it will be a lot cheaper (and quicker) in the long run than trying to buy individual flowers seed packets and mixing the seeds myself. The good thing about having so many seeds is that I can plant half in the fall, and if they don’t come up next spring, I can plant the other half and see what happens.

Even after all this time, my landscaped yard with lush garden spots is still little more than a vision I dream when I am doing such mundane chores as digging weeds and turning soil, but you never know. Someday I might actually dream that vision into reality.

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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