Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beauty and the beast

Like I mentioned, the former owners liked to garden. We have a big front garden, one alongside the house, one in the back against the patio, and one along a retaining wall. I was too caught up in interior details to really notice the yard stuff. And last fall when we walked in the yard, I was in love with fall and crunchy leaves and jackets and jeans.

Our agent asked me, "Do you like to garden?"

"I don't know," I replied. I had lived a spoiled life with an 8x8 raised bed. I pulled maybe five weeds a summer. I had healthy harvests with little effort. That was all about to change.

Shortly before settlement, I came by the property and visited a bit with the owner. She was weed pulling in one of the beds and I grabbed a broom to sweep alongside.

"How long would you say it takes you to maintain these gardens?" I asked naively.

"Years," she said.

Fear set in. At the end of our first week, Shane comes in and announces he wants to return the front bed to grass and my heart sank.

"We've only been here a week and I haven't even touched that garden yet. Give me a chance!" I pleaded. And on Sunday, after the morning rains, I set out.

And Monday. And today. Hours. The kids biked and scootered and I worked bent over or squatting, my eyes focused on a 2x2 area in front of me at a time. Luckily, Reggie popped by Monday to give me a hand and plenty of encouragement, "This place is magical. You can't turn it to grass. Let me know when you're working out in the garden."

That would be pretty much every day I can.

I look at the heart-shaped leaves of clover, now pulled by the hundreds in just a few days, laughing at how pretty and novel looking I thought they were back in field life. But the ache in my backside and legs feels good, the pull in my shoulders and arms. It's good work and I look forward to it again and again. Going to bed at night feeling spent--it's good.

I am determined to get this beast under control and make it beautiful again.

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