The Easter Garden


Every now and then it happens that I have a day that is not planned to the teeth.  Those days can be strangely hard, in that I almost have no idea what to do with myself.

As a mom of 2 kids plus one bonus kid on a sort of “furlough” not working as a teacher for a year or so, most days are pretty prescribed.  Especially since I began to homeschool the 3rd grader (please leave preconceived notions of this activity checked in the coat check).

Today was a true rarity.  Husband home.  Friday.  Sunny.  I had no pressing duties.

It was beautiful and a little spooky, because surely I was forgetting to do something important.

I started with the obvious, popping the snap peas that had grown from little seeds in my warm south facing window into the garden boxes.

Still I had time.  So I planted the mini pumpkins with plenty of soil amendment because out dirt is lousy.

But there was still more time, the 5 year old occupied with Easter egg hunting and bunny holding.

It started out with an old worm bin.  Then I impulsed a white bleeding heart flower that the dog nearly trounced to death before I rescued it.  The worm bin was too shallow for the flower, so I Improvised with a ceramic planter inside the bin, figuring it was better than a trounced new spring flower of great delicacy.

When I put these two things together in a spot in our small space on this planet together in a part of the yard that is roundly ignored and the weeds grow and the dryer spews lint and moss grows like a party along with the largest dandelion salads imaginable, something happened.

Today, on the day when I had nothing else to do, I pulled all that wild growing bitter salad out of the ground and I tickled the earth with my gardening tools.  I churned up the packed nasty clay soil and thoroughly shooed out every unintentional growth.

When I was done, I realized I was actually only just beginning.  That, no I am not hungry for dinner and if you can wait I will make chicken on the grill but that might not be for hours.

Because I was just getting started.

With my soil mixture of last falls leaves, worm castings, peat moss and I amended and sunk into the earth the ravaged small evergreen namesake shrub of mine, 5 of them or maybe 6.  Arranged carefully.

But that was small beans.

Because there were these flagstone rocks laying around, and so I arranged them in a place where I knew I could plant nothing but was sure to have more unintentional salad if I did nothing.

So I puzzle pieced some of the flagstone together and poured some sand under and around it, carefully sweeping the tops of the rocks to be free of sand.

It was a humble beginning, but with a pile of nasty old weeds everywhere on the aggregate pathway that bordered this small area that is largely protected by shrubs of evergreen and azalea varieties, I had to clean up some of my mess.

I am not typically that great at doing that, often times I hack and prune and pull and let my dear husband clean up the remainder.  He does because it is his contribution.  But this time I had to clean up my own mess.   At this point, I realized not only was I not done with this area, but that it was turning into a bit of something.

More than a bit of weed pulling.  It was turning into an act of creating.

I thought about it being Good Friday and felt a little guilty for doing yard work on an important day.  But then, I thought, but this feels really, really good.  It feels like the right thing to do, to go here to this part of the property where things grow wild and unhindered in all the most not right ways and just try, just try to make it something beautiful…without a 200 dollar trip to the nursery, but only with what I have on hand and no shortage of perseverance.

So, realizing that some day I might buy the lilacs that would be perfect in this spot, or the bulbs that will announce spring in the proper fashion, but for now, all I have are some sad neglected plugs of blooming evergreen shrubs, leftover rock, and oh, I bet I could use that succulent looking groundcover from the front yard that is trying to take over everything.

In that went.  And it was good.

I had some stones leftover, and so I edged a bit next to the walkway.

As I type this, my arms are aching.  I realized 3/4 of the way through that I was creating a particular garden.  An Easter garden, I resolved.

I hope that the moss that I used to decorate (inspired by a friend) and the soil I made carefully and the ground I scraped will merit a picture some day, but for now, it is looking a little rough, but a lot better than the nasty snarl it was.

Reclaimed, redeemed, revived, rescued and ready to give me respite another day.  Hooray for Easter Garden.



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