April 24, 2013

morning in the sun

This morning I tackled my flowerbeds.

They've been there, waiting for me, for weeks, and it was only last night's firm decision to venture out that stirred me from the stupor of an overcast sleepy morning.

Lil' Snip kept me company, wandering around in his inadequate Crocs through still-dewy grass while I pulled henbit and chickweed from the scanty irises and emerging hosta.  I uncovered a spiderwort that I'd forgotten about.  Divided and transplanted a primrose in full flower.  Made a pile of sticks for our bonfire pile.

My winter-stiff gardening gloves grew slick and supple from the moist soil and lush weeds, and before I knew it, all that was left in the flowerbed was flowers, and it was time for Lil' Snip's morning crib-time.

I lounged with my laptop while he played in his crib, Sugar and Spice playing Legos in the next room.

My Farmer and Nice came home from the dentist and he & I drank coffee and sampled the truffles he'd found at the dent-n-bent store, while Nice busied herself opening all the packages of toothbrushes and toothpaste.

When he could delay it no longer, my Farmer headed in to work, and Lil' Snip and I headed back out to the next flowerbed, beckoning the Lego Ladies (a.k.a. Sugar and Spice) to come join us.  Nice finished watering the plants in the sunporch and came out to join her sisters in fort-building.

Lil' Snip found a [child-sized] hoe and told me he would "shovel" with me.  I found a spot near me where he could do no harm, and he "shoveled" away while I attacked the rosebed.  Wild strawberries flourished here with henbit and creeping charlie and virginia creepers - apparently all the leaf litter makes that bed a vine paradise.  I pulled and pulled, uprooting all manner of trespassers with abandon, starting from the edges and ruthlessly working my way back.  Lil' Snip called encouragement from time to time:  "We're doing good, Mommy!  Good!"

I filled a wheelbarrow with my weeds.

Finally you could see clearly the daffodils I'd put in last year, the tolerant ferns that refused to die despite my neglect, even some columbine that had braved the jungle.  The chrysanthemum had mysteriously disappeared (not the first one in my care to do so), and some feverfew that had been there apparently accompanied the henbit to the rubbish heap in the wheelbarrow.  Humph, well, it shouldn't look so much like a weed!

Next I approached my eight-year-old Don Juan rose, pruners in gloved hand.  No time to read up on rose-pruning.  I knew myself:  it was now or never.  I cut off obviously dead bits, snipped off crossed or inward-growing branches, and topped the ones that towered above my head.  It was an experiment in horticulture that I could only hope worked out.

About then Sugar called over to me:  "It's time to go in!!"  Where had the time gone?  Lunchtime already?!

Lil' Snip and I dumped the weeds behind the shop while his sisters went inside to make lunch.  He showed me where our Polish crested chicken has hidden a nest; I had to make myself as small as he is to see her!

We went in, glowing, to put away our tools and wash up.  Nothing like a little sunshine and dirt to make you feel pleasantly virtuous.

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