Last year was a rough year for me. I know there are many out there for whom last year (or any year) was far more troublesome than mine. But I need to begin this blog with a quick explanation as to why my gardens came to resemble the forest surrounding Sleeping Beauty’s bower. I’ll be quick…the Reader’s Digest version, abridged and leaving you wondering where the rest of the story went. Ready? Two surgeries and nearly a year of physical therapy on my right arm. And I’m right-handed. Enough said? The weeds spent the summer proliferating and laughing at me. Winter did nothing to dampen their enthusiasm for mockery. They joyfully reappeared in the springtime for a repeat performance.
But I was ready for them this time…sort of.
I’ve decided to document the rebirth of the front garden (for starters, at any rate—I may ambitiously continue this documentary recitation with the shed garden, the shade garden, the don’t-sit-under-the-apple-tree garden). It’s also a tale of my own rebirthing, from a rather nasty what-the-hell-has-happened-and-do-I-really-care attitude into the symbolically hopeful, soul-nurturing act of gardening. I regained the use of my right arm and, therefore, my ability to remake my beloved flower beds over.
It’s a work-in-progress that began with the simplest tasks first—the front porch. Not gardening, per se, but the lateral move of store-bought plants into store-bought planters. Enough color to make me smile, enough floral abundance to convince me I was on my way to bigger and brighter.
First thing to face and prepare: the Blank Slate. Remove all extraneous items; break out the pressure washer; wash the lovely green lichen or whatever the heck it is from the railings, front siding, windows, wherever it had appeared in its effort to taunt me. Re-hang the wind chimes (did I mention that in my state of mind last year I had my son yank them down because the beautiful, deep timber of their chimes annoyed me? Of course I didn’t. I gave you the abridged version…) Next, bring the table and chairs out of the shed, wash them down, and place pottery onto the tempered glass surface. Insert pansies—purple and white. Why not? The colors look fabulous with the turquoise glaze of the pots.
Next, hang the planters on the railings. Unfortunately, the planters themselves are too short for the hanging apparatus. But soon these little beauties pictured at right are supposed to grow to drape over the planters’ edges and none will be the wiser. Except you, now that the secret is out of the bag. I’ll have to take photos later in the summer and we’ll see if their promise of coverage comes to fruition.
Finally, for this portion of the Garden Restoration, I jammed a shepherd’s hook into the earth in front of the porch between three smashingly beautiful and HUGE light gray rocks, and hung the equally large hanging basket of wave petunias, a basket of sunny yellow zinnias and a brightly colored birdhouse (painted by moi, in about two seconds, so don’t look too closely).
This leads me to the next phase, which was backbreaking, exhilarating work. It was also where I learned, as I never had before, that gardening is a contact sport.
Check back for Garden Restoration, Part II. Thanks for reading!