100 Plants Planted

Well, I did it — planted the 100 dayliles I’d ordered. It turns out I needed that many. I really thought I only needed twenty-five for each side of my walkway, and I would have made them work if that’s all I’d ordered, but since one hundred pretty much cost the same as fifty when I took such things as shipping into consideration, I’m especially glad I ordered twice as many. And especially glad that the planting is now done. It took me several days to prepare the soil, so today’s planting took only about three hours. Three hard hours.

They sure doesn’t look pretty, but that’s the way the plants came — yellow and scraggly. With any luck and a bit of water, they ought to green up and maybe even establish themselves before winter comes.

A prettier surprise was the blossom on this mangus echinacea. The tag I’d planted with along with the echinacea had blown away, so I had no idea what the plant was until it bloomed and I was able to look it up. So now I know.

And my zinnias are doing great.

Anyone who plants a garden is planting hopes and dreams and perhaps poems, and this is even more true when it comes to an amateur gardener. Without any extensive knowledge about how to care for plants, one can only hope and dream that one day blossoms will appear.

So, in a couple of years, when the newly-planted daylilies take hold, I hope I will have copious blooms to show you!

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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

Busy Day Tomorrow!

I am going to be busy tomorrow — busier than I normally am, that is. I just received my shipment of daylilies, which are supposed to be planted immediately. Immediately, in this case, has to mean tomorrow because I go to work this afternoon. Besides, it’s very hot and very humid right now, so I wouldn’t want to take a chance on getting heatstroke.

Everything takes longer and is harder than I expect, and I suspect it’s going to take a long time to plant one hundred daylilies. Luckily, I prepared the garden beds, removing the weeds and grass and digging down several inches, so it’s mostly going to be a matter of putting the plants to bed.

Still, one hundred is a lot of plants!

I’m hoping the two beds I prepared, one on each side of my front ramp, will be big enough for all the daylilies. If not, I’ll probably have to store the remainder in wet dirt until I can prepare other areas.

I hadn’t planned on getting so many of the plants — I figured I needed about twenty-five per bed since they have to be planted at least a foot apart, but two batches of twenty-five with postage cost the same as four batches with free postage,, which is why I ended up with that many plants. So tomorrow I get to work!

Touch-up paint for my car also came today. The paint below the gas cap rotted either because of the fumes or because of drips, and that discolored strip of paint recently fell off. Luckily, the gray primer is intact, so all I have to do is hope that the paint people sent the right color and that I can paint it on without it looking too sloppy.

That chore can wait a couple of days or even weeks, if necessary, but the planting can’t wait. It will be good to have something fun growing in those front-yard areas. Weeds and thick-bladed grass are not the sort of things I want greeting me when I get home from work.

I’d planned to take it easy today so I wouldn’t be too sore for the chore tomorrow, but the contractor assigned a worker who assigned a different worker to come and fill in the moat around the house that they’d dug up when they fixed the cracks in the foundation. That wouldn’t have been a problem, but the guys who were supposed to have come on Saturday to whack the weeds around the house never showed up, so I ended up helping dig out the worst of the weeds so the worker could fill in the moat. (Some of my stories about the contractor and his workers sound like a Judge Judy show waiting to happen, but I’m not a litigious sort, and besides, the work will get done. Eventually.)

Still, I’ll rest this evening, perhaps with a bit of luck even go to sleep early, so that I can play in the dirt tomorrow before it gets too hot.

***

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A fun book for not-so-fun times.

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Mucking Around in the Dirt

I wasn’t outdoorsy when I was young, nor was I particularly prissy. I was a bit of a dreamer, but more than that, I was a reader. All I ever wanted to do was read, so any digging in the dirt was done vicariously between the covers of books. To be honest, I don’t remember any instance of soil in books, though there must have been. I read stories about farming and archaeology and escaping from prison camps via tunnels, but somehow I never really associated such literary activities with dirt. When I inserted myself into the books I read, I was always relatively clean, no matter what the activity.

As an adult, my jobs were of the clean variety — no getting dirt under my fingernails — and reading continued to be my preferred method of escape and entertainment and education.

So it mystifies me that I’ve become rather fond of mucking around in the dirt. I spent the morning preparing a bed for the daylilies that will be arriving next week, and to fill in the low areas where deep clumps of weeds and grass were removed, I hauled buckets of dirt from a dirt pile left behind when the stumps of my felled trees were removed. A couple of the buckets were pure mud, and I found myself spreading out the damp soil using my gloveless hands. I never even thought anything of it until a person who happened to see me doing so chuckled and said, “I love mucking around in the dirt, too.”

It’s funny sometimes to get a glimpse of how others see us. To me, I was just gardening. It never occurred to me that I might actually like the feel of dirt. And, as it turns out, I do. Usually I wear gloves when I “muck,” but I hadn’t planned on doing anything this morning but a bit of digging, so I’d left my gardening gloves in the garage. I’m glad I did. There’s something so elemental about one’s hands in the dirt; it’s only when we become civilized and have to worry about grooming and manicures and such that dirt on our hands becomes the enemy.

Oh, and reading. One can’t read with dirty hands. To do so seems a desecration of the written word.

I’ve gone through many changes, not just of me but of my lifestyle, during the years after Jeff died, and this mucking around in the dirt is a surprising one, though it does go along with my new-found love of gardening.

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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