The summer gardening is ended.
It has been wet and soggy the past couple days, although I squeezed a bit of gardening in this week. Weeding, mostly.
I weeded in the rain the other day, it reminded me that I have often worked in adverse weather, although the soft summer rains cannot truly be categorized as adverse.
I thought back on an old gardener of an old time in my life as I weeded. He was an elderly Italian neighbor and his yard was perfectly immaculate with the most beautiful blue hydrangeas. I’ve always had a weakness for blue hydrangeas… Anyway, one day as I spoke with him over the fence I asked him the secret to his weed-free garden. I was battling an especially bad case of aegopodium at the time. He simply and forthrightly said that it was the act of caring for the garden every day… And over time there was not so much to do to keep it. How profound! How many times over the years have I found this to be true in so many things, and not just in the garden?!
In my weeding endeavors I was helped by my son… A bit by accident. After calling to him for some reason, and he being in that teenage time that boys sometimes enter, in which it is de riguer to mock Mom, he thought he could get away with it. The scowling I was prepared for, the disrespect, no. So I told him that since he thought it was fine to show me disrespect, I would have him work with me and he could learn to respect what I do that way.
And so I garnered a helper for some chores.
I pointed out the bush he had mowed over ( “helping” a previous time) and asked him to spare it because I felt it would recover if it wasn’t mowed over a second time.
… Then I had dig out a wild mulberry tree that had taken hold this summer (those always tire me out disproportionately to the task). I had him help pull some large growing ‘things’ by the garage and went about my business of doing the big tractor mowing and supervising yard pickup. And that wound up the week in the garden!
My usual mode to start such work days is to walk around the garden -sometimes with morning coffee in hand- and get a general lay of the land. Check on the state of the gardens: what needs pruning, whether the trash has gotten windblown, or whether the family members decided we could live with debris all over the place.
… Then, if they have been remiss and need to learn that we all keep the yard in order, or if I am low on energy and know I can’t accomplish the chores without help- I round up the troops and we set to the tasks. Often, I come back out later in the day when I can, with my plan of work for getting the garden in order. The past few years I have mostly gardened on my own, but that might explain how things got so badly out of order! Teenagers can do things without it making a dent in their energy ( although it certainly seems to put a cramp on their mood). I, on the other hand feel happier having overcome the unruliness of nature, but my energies are greatly depleted, and I always risk the wrath of my muscles and bones!
Now we are moving on to autumn… The crisp air has been foretelling this for more than the past week, and I am hopeful to plant a tree or two and to put in tulips. The garden is overdue for a new infusion of tulips. So much that I don’t know what colors I really want. So unlike me. But perhaps a whole bunch of one kind in the dooryard garden..
Maybe something pink like the old fashioned Queen of Bartigons. She was a fine long lived grower who I lost to the pond when we put it in…
oh. I have a picture of that past time…Let me dig it up and post. Terrible picture but you see my cute baby who is now 14 years old, and the lovely stand of Queen of Bartigons, even though it is dark and grainy.
Tags: weeding, gardening,summers end