Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Like a Pig Rooting for Truffles

I'm SO sore.

My back aches. My legs ache.

I'm hobbling around like John Wayne moseys through a pair of batwing saloon doors.

Looks way less cool when I do it. Pilgrim.

Why am I hurting?

I'm an idiot. But I'm an ambitious idiot!

Last week, I decided I wanted to grow pumpkins. I've always wanted to grow pumpkins. I figured it would be difficult.

Then I saw many of my garden blogging friends with posts about the pumpkins they were growing. They made it look easy, so I decided to give it a go this year.

Even this baby grew one.

The only drawback to growing pumpkins as I far as I could see, was that one needs a shit ton of room. My whole yard is room.

I think we have a third of an acre? I have a memory like a goldfish, so I could be wrong. We have a lot of yard and no fence.

I'm so excited (but not quite 'Royal Wedding excited)! I hope I don't cock it up. But I figure all I put into it was $2 for a pack of seeds.

Oh. And a lot of sweat. I dug a very large patch of earth all by myself. With a spade. Not a tiller.

You don't understand what a great feat this is. I have zero upper-body strength.

I'm like a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Chuck and I usually rent a heavy-duty tiller because our ground is such a bitch to dig up.

MY impatient Canadian ass decided on a Sunday (when the rental place is closed) that it was tired of waiting and wanted the pumpkin patch IMMEDIATELY.

In one short week, I have been rewarded. My pumpkins are sprouting.

My friends say that I should have them looked at by a doctor.

My sunflowers are doing very nicely as well. I dug that sunflower bed up myself about a month ago. Once again, all by hand.

And if that wasn't enough vertebral punishment, yesterday I got a wild hair and decided to make a new garden out front.

I'm terrible at estimation when it comes to measurements.

Especially curved measurements, and I wanted a curvy garden with curvy stone edging. What can I say? I'm a curvy sort of girl.

I actually surprised myself by guessing the right number of edging stones I'd need. But of course I bought the wrong number of curvy and straight ones. I laid them all out as soon as I got home in the shape I wanted, and it was totally not working.

I usually buy this type of stuff at Lowe's Home Improvement, and it takes me about 40 minutes to drive there and back from my house.

I discovered my mistake AFTER I was already covered in dirt. A thick layer of dirt. Sunscreen and sweat-matted dirt. There was no way I was making that 40-minute drive AND going into Lowe's covered in greasy freaking dirt. But I wanted to finish my garden that day.

I could only think of one option.

I put out the Chuck Signal.

Shit. Wrong one. But all that digging does make a curvy girl hungry...

Anyway, after I asked my lovely, wonderful, amazing husband to save me by stopping by Lowe's for the right stones on his way home from work(I might have cried if he'd said no), I got down to business.

That little area started to look a lot bigger once I started digging. It probably took me two hours of digging to make the garden as big as I wanted. With the scorching sun beating down on my back. I might have gotten it done faster if I didn't have to take breaks to prevent heatstroke.

And I found out there were a whoooooooole mess o' wolf spiders making homes in that little patch of dirt.

Pissed off Mama-Wolf spiders.

Ten years ago, if I saw a spider like that within 20 feet of me, I'd have been running away screaming, garden abandoned. Funny what you can get used to.

Don't get me wrong, if one of those fuckers happened to scamper across any patch of bare skin I might possess, my screams would have been heard in Nepal.

When Chuckles got home, I was finally able to put in my edging stones. I made this garden mainly as a feature for my new gardenia, but I also bought a couple of daylilies, gomphrena, and petunias to fill it out a little till I decide what to really do with it.

When it was all finished, I was really proud of myself. I worked so hard, and I did it all by myself.

Well, 97% by myself. When I was attempting to place the edging, Chuck was hovering around and eyeing me as if he wanted to take them out of my hands and do it himself.

"What?" I asked. "Am I not doing this right?"

"Well....maybe if you move that one there...And tamp that one down a little...And put some more dirt under that one..." he said, sipping his beer.

"Do you want to do this for me or something?" I puffed, sweating my ass off. Covered in dirt.

"No, no! I'm too tired," he said. "But maybe move that one there a little..." Another sip of beer.

I think he finally had enough of watching me place them 'wrong' and helped place a couple of the stones, no matter how tired he was from work. I mulched and it was all done.

I didn't get enough mulch though (of course). I got more today.

I think it looks damn good. Jazzes up the place.

Here are some quick looks at other random things in my yard that I couldn't cleverly fit into the above:

My vegetable garden. A cherry tomato, a bush cucumber, and a cayenne pepper. Aren't those drywall buckets glamourous?

My Japanese Maple (dwarf Bloodgood). When I bought it for $12 late last fall, it was a sad sight. The garden center had it out in way too much sun, and it was all scorched.

Looks a damn sight better now.

My English lavender. I usually kill this crap every year. It dies over the winter.

This year, it not only lived, but re-flowered. It's the small victories!

And this is my favourite! I love this caladium. It was an impulse buy today when I was getting more mulch. I want to buy another red pot to put it in. For now I just have it propped up behind my hosta. Sexy!

I think I'm going to take a rest from all this 'extreme gardening' nonsense for awhile.

I'll be 30 in three weeks.

My old bones just can't take it anymore.


Marguerite said...

awesome job Kyna!! The new curved bed is beautiful. Like you I can't measure to save my life. I just ordered compost to be delivered and told the guy to fill the truck, however much that is. I'll figure it out when it gets here. Isn't there something about spring that makes us gardeners crazy? I wouldn't work this hard at anything else yet I'll go all day to the point where I'm falling over to get a garden bed finished.

Jim Groble said...

Pumpkins are cool. They will grow till the frost kills them. I'm thinking that means they could grow so big down by you that you could alter the gravitational forces of the globe. Like I said, pumpkins are cool.

biobabbler said...

ah, mah, GAH! LOVE love LOVE it. =) Great little front garden-licious thing, and YEAH, BABY, pumpkins ARE the way. EASY and SO glamorous and gorgeous. I will pimp myself for rouge vif d'estampes pumpkins--YUM. AND you are living in a COLDER place than me and are KICKING MY ARSE, so GREAT work and nice job motivating others. U R AWESOME! =) Dirt is good.

Rohrerbot said...

Looks great!!! The body sucks after awhile....the mind gets better, but I have made several signals for help and thankfully people help me with the work. It's A LOT of work. Your sectioned off area looks great. When all that stuff grows fuller, it's going to make a beautiful corner garden as people make their way in the entrance. I hope your pumpkins grow large and big like that of the baby:)

Jayne said...

OMG - you've put me to shame! I wimped out on the patio all weekend and you were out in the heat, digging! Your front flower bed looks awesome - the curves are just right. Good luck with your pumpkin patch.

Tweedlebug said...

Looks gorgeous, Kyna!

I was just out in the garden today myself, but I was nowhere near as ambitious. I was happy to also find that my lavender was alive, though it is nowhere near so healthy looking as yours is. My girls helped me plant runner beans, a pumpkin (just a wee one; I'm totally looking forward to showing the girls your pumpkin patch photos), carrots, peas and zucchini today.

I'm also jealous of your lovely Japanese maple; I adore them, but you have to go to such extreme measures to keep those alive in Edmonton, and I'm just not into coddling my plants enough for that.

The Garden Ms. S said...

New beds are hard work - congrats!

Have fun with the pumpkins. I loves them. :)

Smillie said...

Here's a tip - if you like lavender and want more, let the flowers seed and then when they dry completely, clip them and leave them where they fall. They should reseed and you'll have lots of baby lavender plants to move where you want and they will be accustomed to your climate so should grow well.
Apart from that, your curvy bed looks great. There's no shame in salvaging containers, I do it on my allotment! I have old wellies with strawberries in them.

I love pumpkin plants, they are total triffids though.

Natalie said...

Sorry, I posted that comment under my husbands Google account!
He gets a slap upside the head for not logging out!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Excellent! There is something very satisfying about getting your butt whooped in the garden, but having something to show for it (rather than just pulling weeds, and someone asking where you pulled them because there are 10 million gazillion more). Your new curvy bed definitely dresses up the front door, and it will look fabulous when all the plants fill in. Good luck with the pumpkins, they're fun to grow!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Hey there "Canuck-Girl" !
Ya' did GOOD ! .. and I am so happy to see you are growing pumpkins too ! .. I mean .. I'm not .. I did try but it fell on its sword to escape me that year .. so I figured that was a cosmic message NOT to torture pumpkins .. but girl , pop one in the mail for me around Halloween ? OK ??
I am also damn glad to see you don't put down RED mulch .. I can't believe people use that .. crap ? it is screaming red for god sake .. why not launch a river of blood ? at least it would feed the plants ? OK .. rant over with .. just wanted to pop over and say amazing work girl .. now come back up here and help me weed please ??
PS .. are you going to wait in your pumpkin patch on Halloween night to see if the Great Pumpkin comes ? .. and can I come over and wait with you too ??

Is the Wiz said...

Dear Kyna, Nice work there, the new bed is very welcoming. I'm in awe of being able to sow pumpkins straight into the ground, I've just started mine off in the greenhouse. And I love that calladium, really nice specimen.