Monday, 23 June 2008

Homekeeper Challenge #9 (gardening)

You may think I have been neglecting the challenge, but quite the contrary. As I consider my fence part of keeping my home beautiful (and safe), this is an extended project that is taking more than a week to complete (obviously). Thanks to my fantastic father, I am now half done the picket panels I need to build. I am well on track to being where I need to be for July 9th when the posts go in. It looks amazing, if I do say so myself. I won't give you any sneak peaks until I'm done, though.

Today, however, I do have a second project to tell you about. Yes, I do keep myself busy with many things going on simultaneously. In fact, my neighbour jokingly asked yesterday "Do you ever take a rest!" This was gratifying to hear, because I often feel like nothing is ever getting done.

My second project is the gardening around here. My long term plan (for next year) is to turn my current backyard jungle of a garden into a vegetable garden. This year is really more about getting everything under control. I have finally learned what are the weeds and what are the plants. I have also learned how to prune back my crazy bushes, and how to move my lovely ferns (which are the only thing worth saving where my veggies will go - pretty much everything else is coming out!) I have also learned the true meaning of "grow like a weed". I will never use this expression again.

So mostly I have been dig, dig, digging. Hard work. I have also discovered a blue recycling box is a poor substitute for a wheel barrow. Dirt is heavy! My muscles are growing and aching, aching and growing.

But this picture below represents my biggest accomplishment in the garden so far. We had this terribly ugly thing posing as a bush, right in front of our mailbox and front steps. It was really the only thing you could see coming up to the house. It was flat and evergreen and infested with spiders. And it had to go. Not an easy feat. I took my hand saw to it, tearing away branch after branch. That was day one. Day two I dug and dug and dug at the roots. And dug some more. Then covered in sweat and dirt, left it for day three. Day three. I dug more, then started taking the saw to the roots too deep to get to. Then I started rocking the stump back and forth, jumping on it to try and wiggle it free. Then it started to rain, which I completely ignored.
This stump was too close to leave now! In front of neighbours watching to see who would win the battle (I hope their money was on me!) and with cars slowing as they passed to witness the crazy lady jumping and shaking a bush stump (we live on a surprisingly busy street!) I finally tore the thing from the ground! Here I am with my prize:

Okay - this picture doesn't do my opponent justice. I am the conqueror! There are now some lovely beautiful green ferns in its place. This gardening stuff is hard work, but I am learning how gratifying it truly is to "till your own land."

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