the garden becomes

Right after I got laid off in February 2010, I headed for the front yard to do something about that expanse of sun-baked, south-facing lawn (see the pic in the gallery below).

I rented a sod cutter, a bruiser of a machine, and sliced away the grass, about 900 square yards.

Then I hauled yards and yards of potting soil and plonked ’em down in the beds I designed in my head.  My plants were in pots, lots and lots of pots.  I began the process of finally designing with those collections.  That spring, it was cold–in the 40s–and rainy.  How lucky that was for the newly planted garden–lots of cool weather to allow the transplant shock to wear off gently.  That cool weather was much easier on the gardener, too!

Three months after I began, I had transformed that front yard into a place that gives me solace, delight in the scents, colors, and textures, and provides a living buffer between the world and me.

Now, it is two years later, and as I wander through an unexpectedly long recuperation from serious illness, I potter around in the garden, an hour at a time.  I forget that I feel horrible because I immerse myself in the lively spot I created, sometimes transplanting or just weeding.  But always watching and examining.  My lilac that I thought surely hated me for transplanting it shows its flower buds this spring.   Today, I thinned out some ornamental grasses and put the bits among the more structured shrubs and perennials to add movement, color, and sound in more places.

I am at my most serene when I am playing in the garden–the scent of newly turned soil, seeing earthworms by the kajillion, setting up the bird bath mister, or just sitting on a wicker chair on the porch and seeing my garden.  I hauled all the dirt and planted every last thing there.  I remember sitting in a cold mist teasing apart roots with fingers so cold I could hardly feel what I was doing, but going through pot after pot, and setting those roots into the ground.

Sometimes I take my drawing board outside and work on those geometric figures, sitting in the warm sun and thinking of nothing except creating lines on the page.  Then, looking up and reveling in the sight of my garden.

Now, I only go outside when the sun is shining its springtime warmth; I have become sensitive to the cold, me, the person who comes alive in the winter.  I will hope that this is a temporary state and will depart once the whole of me becomes whole again.

These pics are not current, but soon my garden will look like this again, only a little different because after all, I potter in the garden and move things here and there, which subtly changes the shapes and textures.

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. IsobelandCat
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 14:02:49

    You certainly made the right decision. It looks wonderful, and I am sure you get a lot of happy wildlife there too.


  2. lahgitana
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 14:36:34

    Thank you, Isobel! Mostly birds and occasional neighborhood cats. Sometimes we do get raccoons wandering through….


  3. nadbugs
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 15:13:09

    Wow. Splendid.


  4. 10000hourstobe
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 19:58:06

    This is the first time I saw what the house looked like before you worked your magic. Flowers are so much more friendly, aren’t they.


  5. heretherebespiders
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 13:49:19

    Gorgeous. I’m so impressed! I wish I didn’t have a job still so I could garden. Oh yeah, I wouldn’t have a house anymore if I did that…sigh… I got the green bug this weekend and started a ton of seed, at least!


    • lahgitana
      Apr 16, 2012 @ 14:02:57

      Thank you, Spiders! Yes, it’s always like that–not enough time or not enough money.

      I plowed through (see what I did there? [minlit always says this!]) developing my garden in 3 months because all those economists were sayin’, yeah, by mid-2010 we should be on the upswing, and I knew I’d get my old job back and not have time to do what I was doin.

      What kinds of seeds? Indoors? Directly? Post pics!


      • heretherebespiders
        Apr 16, 2012 @ 14:41:57

        I didn’t think – I was just fulla confidence – misplaced apparently. LOADS of seeds. Too many to list here, if I could even remember. I took notes. Indoors, except for snow peas I put out directly a month a go, just to see if they’d grow. And my precious baby lavender from seed, started in the fridge two months ago!


        • lahgitana
          Apr 16, 2012 @ 14:49:41

          Oooo, lavender seeds in the fridge. If my brain continues to improve, I’ll start some seeds too–lavender, blue fescue grass, dianthus, and other stuff. Oh yes, sunflowers! For the shade they provide and food for the birds later.


          • heretherebespiders
            Apr 16, 2012 @ 14:53:04

            I did dianthus! Sunflowers seeded themselves from last year. Shade? What’s that? Um…rudbeckia…2 kindsa cornflower…purple broccoli (should I name it after you?) coleus, basil, morning glory…


          • lahgitana
            Apr 16, 2012 @ 14:55:54

            The 10-ft varieties of sunflowers really do provide shade as long as you don’t follow the planting directions too closely! >:-D

            Hmmm… purple broccoli–named after me… hmmmm…. >:-D

            We can’t plant morning glory here because it becomes horribly invasive. I’m still pulling bits out of transplants from our other house and that was FOUR years ago!


            • heretherebespiders
              Apr 16, 2012 @ 14:59:18

              Hahah, I was growing it for a friend’s new rental house garden, to block the fence and keep her greyhound in. My sunnies barely got a yard high, and that’s with a tree to hold them up. Oh well! My hostas just love it here anyway :) I gotta go to bed. Dammit.

          • lahgitana
            Apr 16, 2012 @ 15:02:48

            I was just thinking how late it is for you over there–but I’m happy to have connected for a bit today. I’ve been so absent and missed all the fun! Sleep well!


  6. Trackback: Seedier than usual! Betcha didn’t think that was possible. « heretherebespiders

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