15.6.09

Back to the Garden

I love gardening, but over the last couple of years, for various reasons, I have left the gardening to Hubby. He is not a keen gardener and the result was that the garden was just kept from returning to its natural state of Bushveldt chaos. (Maybe that is a bit unfair as it would probably do the same with me). When the Summer rains begin, the Bushveldt and everything growing in it, explodes with life and keeping up is very difficult. If you do not cut back trees, shrubs and other larger plants on a weekly basis, you will very soon lose the battle against nature reclaiming what us humans seized from it.
Lately, mostly inspired by Arley, (http://theodonnell7.blogspot.com/) I have experienced pangs of guilt and sudden urges to start gardening again. This lady must have Superman as one of her ancestors as she definitely has some of his genes in her make-up. She takes care of her house, her beautiful and delightful children, does home schooling, keeps up a very interesting blog and is currently well into her sixth pregnancy. Yet she still finds time and energy for gardening. I honestly do not know how she manages all that but she is a definite inspiration (not to mention challenge) for me.

So, on Saturday morning, as I said, inspired by Arley and I suspect more than a bit by guilty feelings about all the champagne I consumed on Friday night after finding out that I am going to become a grandmother again, I decided that today is the day that I will tackle the jungle around my house and push nature back to where it belongs. Into some nice loose gardening clothes and old tackies (my favourites) and out came the spades, rakes and pruning shears.

I decided to start outside the backdoor (the door on my stoep) as this is the part of the garden that I look out onto when I am busy on the stoep. As you can see from the photos, it was a lovely sunny day and within the first fifteen minutes, off came the long sleeves and on went the short. Although it is the middle of June we have really not had cold weather. During the week it was overcast with very gentle rain on and off, but the temperatures remained mild. As a result of the rain the soil was soft and smelled heavenly - fresh and rich and I really enjoyed getting my hands into it and some of it under my nails for a change (I have actually forgotten many of the little pleasures of gardening).

Finding this beautiful fungus shortly after I started was a real surprise. It is really big - bigger than a dinner plate at least. I accidentally stepped on it while it was still hidden and even my considerable weight did not do much damage to it. The photo does not do justice to it's rich brown and green colours, but it is all I have. (Hey, I never claimed to be a photographer!)
Once I cleared the old growth and cut back the overgrowth from the summer, I started lifting the Cannas that grew in this bed before, but then decided to leave them as their foliage makes a beautiful show against the brick wall. I will just plant something smaller with different foliage in front of them to create a bit of contrast and interest.

It was when I decided to fill some pots with soil from this bed for later use, that it went all-wrong and I found out that a rake makes a pretty good substitute for a crutch! I carried one of the pots of soil (not even big or heavy) to put it out of my way and when I put it down, I did not do it properly (you know, bending the knees!!) and twisted my back. So my gardening came to a sudden halt for the next two or three days! (I must really get used to the idea that this body I am living in is not keeping as young as the person living in it!).

Luckily the kids were home for the weekend and I could spend most of the time on my back on the couch while they took care of whatever needed to be done. Oh well, I guess I needed the rest also...

PS: I am determined to be back in the garden soon and will keep you updated.

2 comments:

Arley said...

OGM, I had no idea you posted this entry, where was I??? Thank you so much for the kind words!!! I don't think I'm anything like Superman though. If I was I could figure out how to do everything I do and find time for myself. No such luck yet!!!!

A human kind of human said...

See what I mean, Superman genes and totally unselfish on top of it all.