Thursday, September 30, 2010

WHAT was I thinking ???????

It started out in pure innocence - it sounded like a good idea - I was inspired by what all the work fellow garden bloggers were doing............  I was going to cut in my new "South-by-Southwest" (later to be called the "Cottage Garden") garden and prepare it for next Spring!!  I had a few key foundation plants in place, floating out in the middle of the yard, time to encase them in the new garden.  There was a "plan".  I would amend the soil and let it 'simmer' over the winter, just waiting for spring 2011!


A little history retread:
2008:  Backyard = rough shape from home renovation, started out looking like this in spring:

"Icky bad" 2008
2010 - The design plan:

Trace paper - covering an existing picture to sketch plant ideas on ...
2010 (Sept.) - The implementation:

Day 1 - THAT was as good as it was going to get!
Jim and Pat over at illic est haud equus quoque mortuus barruo did an amazing job cutting in a new garden;  so much so that they inspired me to get a jump on 2011 too!

The Problem? ..... My aching back!

I was so glib!   "I was woman, hear me roar!"  Get out the tools and just get to work.  I had my newspaper to cover whatever sod was out there, then I was going to pile on the sphagnum moss, compost and a little top soil.  Let the grass compost under the paper, let the paper breakdown and the nutrients of the amendments give me something to nurture new plants.

I had only edged the shape of the garden before fatigue set in!  Clay with a veneer of topsoil has the texture of  30 year-old concrete by the end of summer.  Shoulders throbbed in pain, arms were like wet noodles and my profile bared a resemblance to Quasimodo...

To add insult to injury, the weekend was over and I wasn't going to be back to finish up until the following weekend.  THAT's when the real fun began - the next weekend...  In a moment of brilliance, I decided to loosen up and stretch before I went out take on the SSW garden, my back was still tight from 'week 1'.  That's when I felt the 'pop' in my lower back - and I caved!  Down & out for 8 days!

But then the miracle happened...

"All" it takes is a little pete moss .... 
Now the foundation plants are 'grounded'..... 
And I owe it all to my kind and generous husband!  While I ignored his pleas for 6 foot high privacy fences over the years, he still lugged tons of pete moss, compost and top soil to fill in the rest of the garden.  I cannot wait to get my hands on that garden next spring!  I continue to impatiently wait for my plants to mature, but then there was a time, when THIS is what our maple tree and the backyard looked liked (looking towards our neighbors back yard)!

"A long time ago when the leaves were green....."
So, it's time to chill - like the weather.  No more grandiose ideas for now.... no more monumental tasks.  I'm starting to think about over-wintering some of my favorite annuals, just to see if my thumb is 'green' indoors?


  1. Amazing what a little frosting (peat moss) will do! Hope your back is soon better.

  2. My thumb turns a light sea-moss colour when it comes to indoor gardening. Seems like the only thing that I'm good at growing indoors is a succulent. :/

  3. You were definitely thinking "I can do this!" ... and your body was thinking "Really??" I think we all take on too much sometimes, forgetting just how hard it can be on our poor old bodies! I do hope you're recovering well ... no more big jobs now. Move a pot plant or two ... then go have a cuppa! Lol ... seriously, your new garden bed looks terrific. Well done both of you!

  4. I think gardening has done my back in this year. My pile of rocks that I meant to get to, will just have to wait until next spring, I am afraid.

    I hope your back is feeling more "normal" now.

  5. Shyrlene, I hope your back is feeling better. I seem to begin every garden season with plans for projects that are way more than any sixty-something woman working alone can possibly complete. Planned one-year projects regularly turn into two-year and three-year projects. Meanwhile, my heating pad seems to have become a permanent decorative feature of my bedroom in Maine. But, of course, when a flower bed is complete and looking lovely, I know that it is all worth it! -Jean
    BTW, knowing that Helen Reddy song definitely dates you!

  6. Shyrlene, I'm very impressed, especially with your space planning. I tend to do before I plan. It doesn't always work out so well. Good thing for you that you have a wonderful husband! Your space looks great! I'm so sorry you suffered in such a way, though.
    BTW...I know Helen Reddy, too. :)

  7. Your new bed looks GREAT! I used to turf the entire bed. The last one we covered with newpaper then put sweet peet on top. The back aches go away, but the beauty of the new bed is forever. Or until you want to reshape it. Thanks for the shout out. jim

  8. It's amazing what a week of "Advil therapy" will do?! I can't thank everyone enough for your encouragement! :D I am really stoked for next season, so I better get in shape over the winter.

    Jean - I laughed out loud when I saw your 'Helen Reddy' comment! (No denying it.)


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