Monday, June 05, 2006

Sometimes I can be oblivious...

As a gardener of 15-plus years, I ought to know to check the soil before dragging my Husband to look at a house in hopes that we'll finally reach an agreement on whether or not to make an offer. And, crappy soil really ought to be a legal deal breaker if you're serious about creating your backyard and/or frontyard paradise. Of course, I'm thinking the sellers might not appreciate having a prospective buyer appearing with trowel in hand to dig holes at various points throughout their flower beds and lawn...if they know about it, that is.

At our last house where we only lived 3 years, the soil was good in some spots, horrible in others. But, the good balanced the bad and by putting in some thuggy plants in the hard spots, things were looking pretty good our last fall there. I made the mistake of driving by our former house on the way to a friend's home. (Another thing I should have learned not to do after breaking down in tears after driving by our first home where I gardened for 12 years.) The side garden was glorious. I'm a firm believer that it takes about 3 to 5 years of hard work to start a new garden and get it looking, on the whole, good. Good in the sense that the overall garden is starting to re-invent itself, filling in where you left a gaping hole, letting go of the sickly things that you really should have had the kindness to put out of their misery a long time ago, blending, spilling, short, covering up all the mistakes the gardener (me) made out of laziness, ignorance, or sheer stupidity.

But, I guess, to give myself an out about the whole Sandy Soil debacle, after looking at anywhere between 25 to 30 houses in a short time, and after starting to panic that we would never find a house we agreed upon and our house already on the marketing and getting lots of attention, I just put those blinders on and we blithely signed that contract.

Moving the week before Christmas left very little time for doing much of anything holiday decorating-wise, but I made a point of buying several flats of pansies and violas to line the walk in the courtyard area. Oh, how my heart sank as I lifted that first clump of gritty damp soil out of the ground. I couldn't believe it. I even called The Husband out to watch as I lifted a trowelful of soil up and let the sandy stuff fall back to ground, expressing my disbelief all the while and watching his face to see if he was truly being supportive and understanding why we should move again or just nodding and trying to plan his escape for when my attention wandered back to the soil.

But, all is well here at Number 17. Just about everything I've planted has taken root and is growing better than I expected, especially considering my expectations involved visions of Wasteland and beeping dump trucks filled with top soil backing up in our driveway. Of course, every thing planted has gone in with major soil amendment and lots of eagle-eye watching on my part plus liberal watering. I'm not much on watering for ornamentals when having drinkable water is an issue in so many places around the world, but I do baby plants for the first few weeks. After that, any plant that can't survive without daily coddling pretty much goes the way of the carrier pigeon. Except for the vegetables. I do carry water out to the veggies every a.m. while I'm feeding the furry four-legged ones of Number 17.

I think the countless rounds of totin' water to new plants is starting to help with the toneless flabby arms. Well, that is what I'm telling myself as I carefully avoid the dreaded over-the-shoulder-glimpse-in-the-bathroom-mirror. So, I'm being a conservator of water and toning the wing flaps~dang, I'm good. I wonder if hanging buckets off my hips would help in that department...

Anyway, welcome to Life at Number 17~I hope you enjoy what you'll read and see here when you drop in for a quick hello.

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it's all about the journey...