My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Where I Bore You With My Hobby

2006-05-29
Ah, ‘twas a nice three-day holiday, no? For the FreshHell household, it was another gardening weekend. Last weekend, Dusty and I planted the front flower beds with a variety of annuals: zinnias, marigolds, purslane, nicotania, portulaca, Thai basil and Genovese basil, citronella geranium, lantana (one of my all-time favorite summer plants), and verbena. It’s beginning to look lovely and summery out front.

This weekend began with the mail lady delivering not one but two CD mixes. The first arrived mid-week from rs-536: Rosanne Cash’s “Black Cadillac” plus a couple extra bonus tracks thrown in for good measure. It rocks and is much appreciated. Sadly, my car CD player, which is temperamental on good days, doesn’t want to play it so I listened to it at work and while I made dinner. Thanks rs!

Then, on Friday, a “mainly 50’s” mix arrived from harri3tspy! The kids dug it so much, and danced so hard to it, that it took me an hour to calm down a weeping and over-stimulated Red before she’d go to sleep. That child really, really likes to dance and probably would have kept on swinging into the wee hours if I hadn’t shut down the party (yes, I am a party pooper) at 7:30pm. Thanks harri3t! My husband, whose favorite era of music is decidedly NOT the 1950’s, enjoyed it as well and marveled as to its sound/recording quality. Music people notice these things.

So, gardening. I have an unseen enemy. Well, as of this (Monday) morning I have two. The first is probably some kind of caterpillar who sneaks into my fenced garden (see picture on flickr) at night and eats my bean plants. Just lops off the leaves – just as the plants are establishing themselves - and leaves the stem to mock me. It also ate the sunflower plants nearby. Left the stem like a middle finger in my face. Fucking nature! So, I planted more bean seeds on Sunday.

Last night, something broke through or under the fence and pillaged and plundered and DUG UP AND ATE the goddamn bean seeds I’d planted yesterday. And, just to royally piss me off, it dug around the beds willy-nilly, leaving hole after hole around various newly sprouted vines and flowers. I am not a poisoner of wildlife, no. I am an organic gardener and will not use deadly chemicals to combat the forces of garden evil. I re-planted more bean seeds and covered them with pieces of chicken wire held down by rocks. I coated the remaining leaves of all plants at risk with soapy water (especially on the poor eggplants which are riddled by small black bugs.). I dare you to get them now Garden Bastard! Come do your worst!

But, before this most recent assault, I got the following done: fertilized vegetable beds and flower boxes, started compost tea in the basement, repotted my work jade plant, fertilized and dusted houseplants and deck hibiscus. I also began the process of dismantling the front walkway/path from driveway to porch steps. The previous owners had put down weed mats and poured down pea gravel with pieces of (shifting) slate in a triangular shape leading up to the porch. This was bordered on both sides by small flower beds. I removed the slate, shoveled up the pea gravel (which was redistributed around the vegetable bed paths), and ripped up the weed mat (also know as my Most Hated Gardening Feature). Soon, Dusty and I will narrow the path by widening the flower beds which will be edged in field stone (which I have in abundance) rather than the one-foot pieces of landscaping timber currently there. Because wood rots and who needs termites? Not me. Then, I will pour cement and Dusty and I will press shells, gathered at the beach, and all manner of “jewels” from her art room collection into it. The end result should be a nice example of outsider art. If only I still had my collection of beer tabs and bottle caps! Can’t have everything.

So, the compost tea is brewing down in the basement. It takes 3 days for the mixture to be ready to administer. Thursday evening should be interesting. Next weekend’s list includes: spraying the vegetable plants with this green growth stuff from Garden’s Alive! (which is my main source of plant food products), set up wasp trap, weed the bed on the northern side of the house and possible plant lemon balm to take over, plant wildflowers, and maybe move the basil and mint (which are a bit leggy) from the flower boxes and re-plant them in the front. It never ends. But that’s the way I like it. This frenzy doesn’t last forever.

To add to all this has been a sudden change in the weather to 90+ degrees and zero rain. I was enjoying the slight humidity on Friday (I finally felt WARM) but, shit. 90 degrees is just too damn hot.

Are you still awake? If so, you get a medal. Sorry to be so boring to the non-gardeners but this is my hobby. I don’t do knitting (I don’t even GET knitting). This is my thing and it’s not a year-round hobby, thank god.

The long weekend was intersected by a jaunt into town to have lunch with friends at their newly purchased house. Which has a pool. Which made Dusty very, very happy even though she almost drowned. My friend, who is finally back in town after a long absence, is expecting her first (and perhaps only) child in September. I filled the car with maternity/baby accoutrements (I can’t tell you how happy I am to be done with all this stuff for good! That’s a whole other entry) and put the car seats together for her (which I was doing when Dusty fell off the floating pool chair and into the water. I am glad I didn’t witness it and that there were two grown men to rescue her. I don’t need that kind of heart attack.) and explained how the breastfeeding clothing worked. Red enjoyed opening and closing the same door all afternoon and getting her pizza-covered hands on everything. Gave my friends a little taste of their future. Also gave them some insight on what to remove in preparation (zen water fountain, for one) for the introduction of their very own junior miss (it’s a girl!).

Okay. As you were.

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2:23 p.m. ::
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