During our recent rainy days while I was tucked snuggly under a blanket reading a book, my garden was springing to life. Our front yard turned green under my watchful eyes, but the back yard did so in secrecy. To my surprise and horror, my vegetable garden and flower garden from last year have re-seeded. Lettuce is growing not only in the garden and but also in the path. Tomato plants are making their way up in both the vegetable garden and the flower garden, and weeds are lush and green throughout. Pink and white cosmos have shot up in the cracks in the sidewalk and my oriental poppy plants are now the size of bushes. Daisies, bachelor buttons, sages, sunflowers, California poppies and more form a soothing expanse of yellows, oranges, pinks, and blues. It’s a beautiful southern California gardening cacophony. Our problem here is not how to make something grow, but how to make what you actually want grow. But these gardening adventures would have to wait, our weekend was designated to the front yard.
Our goal is to transform the yard from an English cottage type to an open and relaxing courtyard that will complement our Spanish style home. We’ve already cleared the space and leveled the ground, planted a privacy hedge and some palm trees - you should see the way I handle a pick-axe, installed a huge three-tier fountain, and bought a half ton of flagstones for a meandering path. This weekend we created that path. We set each of the stones, we pulled the weeds caused by the rain, and we mulched.
Mulching was indeed a new gardening adventure. The city recycling center lets you take away all of the dark brown, finely decomposed treasure you can carry. We watched spellbound as a bulldozer filled John’s truck bed to the brim with the stuff. Then we shuddered at the realization that what took the bulldozer mere minutes load would take us with our shovels and buckets hours to unload. John helped pass the time with his rendition of such gardening classics as “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the comin’ of the mulch…” and “Swing low, sweet shovel o' mulch, coming for to carry you home…” Eventually, we conquered the challenge.
The result of all this hard work is both aesthetically pleasing and acutely painful. The front yard looks good, but John and I are in dire pain. Yesterday I could barely lift my arm to write on the chalk board, and John said he had trouble raising his diet coke can to his mouth.
Luckily, the forecast for this weekend calls for rain.