April 10, 2010
Early this evening I stepped outside to watch my son riding his scooter in the driveway. Before I knew it a weed in the side bed had caught my eye. Pulled one, then another. Soon I found myself dragging out one of my garden trugs and attacking this bed. Wait a minute, the side bed is not on my list of where to start this year. But yet, once again, I find myself impetuously tackling this area.
I started with the perennial crabgrass weaving through the clumps of daylilies and hostas. I’m not sure if I was more surprised by how easily the roots pulled up in this soil, or how long those roots were!
The soil….. After gardening for 15 years in hard clay, here handed to me in the garden I’ve been avoiding is the soil of my dreams. I’ve never had such friable loamy soil as this. OMG, I just described soil in *my* garden as friable loam. Hot damn! It has that wonderful soily smell too – not sour, not stinky but fresh, composty, ALIVE. Non-gardeners may never understand how this can make a gardener’s heart sing!
The back side of the bed, behind the tree, had little rosettes of green leaves peeping up at the surface. At first glance, they seem like innocent little seedlings.
Dying to know what they are, because innocent they are not, nor seedlings. Pulling one up, I found a big juicy root. Then masses of big juicy roots. Talk about shutting down the song and putting fear in my heart. This is not good. But I’ve beaten worse, I’ve had to take back a bed after a poor, poor decision to plant Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’, kept Artemisia ‘Oriental Limelight’ in check. I will beat this mystery plant!
The good news is the soil made it easier to dig through with my hands and pull up the roots. Masses and masses of roots.
Yes, much better. Think maybe something is telling me that this is where I should begin. That maybe I am creating a small little blank slate to call me own, to re-connect with this long passion of mine.
Now this is a old, familar sight. Thankfully I had changed out of “good” clothes before those weeds caught my eye. Too many times in the past, the garden has side-tracked me, pulled me in while wearing work clothes, dress shoes. I get lost in the garden…so imagine this scene but in clothes that don’t bounce back quite so well.
Another familiar sight. Why I don’t even try to grow my nails as a gardener. Why I keep them cut as short as possible, and am a manicurists nightmare. I know, I know, wear gloves. But how can I when the feel of dirt on my hands is one of the best feelings there is!