A few days ago was the first day I ventured out to take a serious look at my backyard. So the task I started late last summer, (to turn my garden into a big outdoor dining room!) is ready to be continued. I realize if I do a little most days and a little more over the weekend I should have a grand place by June 1st.
I have a little patch of dirt at the bottom of the back steps where I always plant herbs and that is the plan for this year also. The sage and oregano and thyme will come back and I will fill in with lots of basil and whatever else I come across on my trips to local farms and arboretums. When I cook in the summertime I am always bounding down the back steps to pluck a bunch of herbs to throw into the pot! My friend Lisa (who is an exceptional gardener) helped me tons last year with advice and cuttings from her plants. I was more than overwhelmed considering I had a hard time distinguishing weeds from flowers and vegetable shoots! As with everything in life, practice is the keys to most success’. You can only read so many books on the subject. The real learning takes place with your hands in the dirt. The other day she told me she was planning on growing spring lettuce and onions? Well, I’m going to do it too! In the next day or two I’m off to buy whatever I need to do it???
The other project I’m about to tackle is bigger. I got a little taste of it last year when I put some paving stones at the bottom of the garden that has an access gate to my sister-in-law’s house. We put a gate in (well there is no gate yet, just an opening for a gate) at the end of the fence so our families could go back and forth easily. My husband said I would have to dig down far enough to lay some gravel and then sand and then lay the stones slabs over this to be flush with the rest of the surface? – I wanted it to be so much easier but I gave it a try. It certainly took time and the job I did was in no way close to perfect , but I was so proud of myself! I felt like one of those annoying women you meet who can do absolutely everything. That ego-trip lasted about 1 minute when my husband said it was sure to sink or “settle” below the grass line? We’ll see I suppose.
Well, the big job ahead is to build a low free-standing flat stone wall a couple of feet away from the back wall of the house and put in a big colorful flowerbed AND continue with a big enough patio for a table and 8 or so chairs! I plan to get the paving stones from a place close to the house who sell broken pieces of slab stone. If I went to a regular landscaping place it would cost an absolute fortune. Hopefully my weight training in the gym will help me wield my shovel and lift rocks with Herculean style!
So the other day, I just weeded and cleaned and pruned some hedges and plants. I didn’t know if I should prune a big yellowing decorative grass clump growing by the side of the house until I saw that one of my neighbors had cut hers down to a nub. I figured she knew what she was doing so I did the same – another way to learn the trade!
The weather is looking more and more like Spring everyday and my days of being cooped up in my wintery den are numbered..