In some hive bathroom in bee language it is scrawled “for a good time visit Arlene’s deck”. For the first time in my life I am gardening.
I don’t count the overgrown jumble when I lived in my cabin in La Salette when “watering and weeding” were just some Russian words. I did weed my small effort once with a whipper snipper but it didn’t appear to help. In the fall I was a devastated bride left standing on a barren harvest alter. I have enjoyed the fruits of Jim’s bountiful and beautiful gardens in years gone by but it has been many, many moons since flowers and fresh produce have been grown at 211 Keays Road in Balderson. And so with hope in my heart, a shovel in hand, and soil from the old manure pile, I started to dig and plant and dig and plant and dig and plant – with the gentle moderation that is my way. (Please stop laughing).
But behold – I have beautiful flowers in terra-cotta pots on the deck, vegetables in raised beds on the concrete pad, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, grapes, rhubarb, herbs and a multitude of other flowering perennials bordering my deck along with planted shrubbery in the front. I can’t seem to remember the names of most of what I have planted, even those that I have bought and paid for (note: if you are a gardener and your perennials happen to need thinning – please don’t throw out the thinnings). I find deep satisfaction in pulling out weeds by their roots (except when they are actually plants) and with the exception of the edibles, I have a hard time remembering what is planted where. I don’t know what any one flower will look like until it blooms so a wander through the garden is always filled with muted anticipation and wonder (Hopefully not the same type of wonder that is found in Alzheimer’s).
But it needs to be said, I could never have done it without help. Thank you Glenda for the perennials and for getting me started; thank you Max and Colin for your awesome digging muscles, and a big thank you to Jim for building the raised beds and the ongoing tutelage and help. So far in my short gardening career what I have learned is this: – rain is good, very very good, fresh basil is amazing in creamed seafood, finding zucchini is like Christmas every other day, I don’t have a shred of instinctual gardening ability, good dirt is something to be valued and bees really do like flowers.