After returning home from taking Aaron to the airport, I sat outside in the unseasonably warm sunshine pondering my state of affairs. I decided it is time I once again return to the earth, to my roots > I need therapy!
Lately, I have been feeling out of sorts. Just not quite the normal me. Lethargy and I have been close friends. I haven't felt like doing much of anything that I didn't absolutely have to do. Those things that must be done, have been done with reluctance. Even fashion and blogging fell flat for me. The source of this basic discontent eludes me. I don't know what is wrong with me.
Whenever I feel completely off balance, I return to the earth. To gardening. Planting and growing things I find incredibly therapeutic. I come out the other side with a brighter outlook and a satisfaction born out of accomplishment. Not to mention, many happy returns in the form of the flowers that grow and bloom attracting butterflies, moths, birds, and bees.
For many of us who blog about fashion, shopping is our therapy. It has been mine for awhile. Shopping can be good for surface therapy, like when I have had a sucky week. Recently, shopping just makes me feel worse as I am overly blessed in the clothing and shoe department. I think of those less fortunate and suffering without, and I feel guilty. I need dig-deep therapy, not a new-shoe pick-me-up.
The flowerbeds in front of our home are huge. On the one side, the bed measures 35 feet long, 12 feet deep for a space of 15 feet and 8 feet deep the other 20 feet of the length. The bed on the other side of the steps is 12 feet long by 7 feet deep. These beds are no joke and take a lot of work to maintain. Work that I ignored for most of the Spring, Summer and Fall of last year. I just didn't care; which is completely unlike me at all. I can't explain it, but I do recognize it. So I have decided it is time for a complete redesign of these beds for their benefit and mine. As they are on the front of our home and visible to the road, it is high time I fixed them, and hopefully me in the process.
I knew I needed a plan. Without a visible plan and a dream, I would run out of steam and interest in the project. The Better Homes and Gardens website has some great garden plans that can be downloaded for free. I have chosen two different plans that I can meld together into one giant plan.
Images from http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plans/
As soon as I downloaded and printed the plans, I taped the photos to the wall over the desk. I never tape things directly on the paint. Ever. Yet there they have been taped and there they will stay until the beds are complete. Then I changed clothes and got out the rakes and shovels. If I paused to think about the enormity of the project, I never would have moved.
|The Big Bed|
|The Smaller bed|
During the course of working to remove the old growth and stalks from the last blooming season, I managed to break my garden rake. The head came off! I managed to get it back on and worked for another 30 minutes before it again popped off and refused to go back on the handle.
Not to be discouraged or deterred, Morgan and I went out to the hardware store to buy a new rake. I ended up buying an edging shovel too. (I love tools. I think I am as bad as any man when it comes to hardware stores. I love looking at the tools and thinking of what I can do with them. Or just browsing around them and creating projects so I can buy and use them.) An edging shovel is shorter handled than a normal sized shovel and the blade is squared off and shallow. It works great to cut off the top layer of dirt and sod. I am definitely going to put it to plenty of use.
My bed needs to be dug out completely to rid it of the crabgrass which has sought refuge amongst the perennials, bulbs and tubers. Pulling crabgrass never seems to eradicate it. Any piece of it left will spontaneously sprout roots and creep out across the soil and under it, setting new roots as it goes. It is horrid and I hate it. I will be digging and digging to remove any trace of it, then back filling with topsoil and composted manure.
I also decided that the timbers that border the garden presently must GO. They will be replaced with some sort of edging stones or bricks. I haven't quite decided which one yet though.
Some people like to listen to music while they work on things, whether it be housework, yardwork or whatever kind of solitary project one attends. I don't and this puzzles my kids. I just like the quiet. I tend to go into my own self and simply let thoughts ebb and flow.
Today two thoughts came to mind that I would like to share.
First, I aspire to be a WEED. I don't wish to be an annual, nor a perennial, but a WEED.
Annuals are pretty and bloom in lovely colors. Yet they are fragile. If not planted in the right conditions, they wither and die. Even when planted in the perfect place with just the right amount of sun and water, tis but for a season and they die anyway.
Perennials are more hardy than annuals, but they still require much of the pampering given to annuals. Perennials do manage to come back for several seasons, yet they remain susceptible to drought and cold or heat. Weed poison will surely kill them dead.
Weeds are strong and resilient. No matter how hard the world tries to eradicate them, they never give up. I pull them out by the roots, mow them down and poison them, yet they continue to grow unabated. They always come back. Weeds adjust for the conditions. It matters not whether it be full sun, part, or full shade; drought, cold, or heat: weeds adapt. Some weeds are even pretty and bloom. These are called Wildflowers.
I need to be a WEED.
Secondly, I really appreciate Newton. Yes, Sir Isaac Newton. I began thinking about his laws of motion. In October, I stopped going to the gym. I just stopped. I have been a faithful gym attendee for well over 12 years at least. But I no longer cared about going to the gym. I refused to drag my sorry self out of bed at 4:30AM for my workouts. Just NO. (Thankfully, I have a very good metabolism so I didn't gain an ounce. In fact, I lost 4 pounds and my clothes still fit, albeit a bit loosely for some.) Dissatisfaction with softer arms, legs and rear brought me back to the gym right after New Years so I have begun to workout again. Let's face it, after 40 years of age we begin to lose muscle mass and bone density. Thinking about that snapped me back to the gym. It occurred to me as I raked that as I gradually stopped doing things, I came to an almost complete stop. Life or subliminal mental/emotional junk brought me to a place where I slowed to a mere crawl. This same whatever-it-is also brought me to the place where I needed to do something. Gardening is a reliable something which allows me time to myself, time with nature, and time to nurture (plants and me) without interference or expectations of anyone except me. There I was working along clearing the debris out of my beds and I didn't want to stop. It felt GOOD to be moving and doing something productive.
|Gardening attire: NY&Co fleece zipup hoodie, Bebe Sport Cargo pants, Skecher shoes|
At the end of the day when the sun began to set and shadows grew long, the largest part of the debris and detritus were mostly gone from my beds. Here are the photos of my progress:
There are plants left in the bed that will be moved elsewhere or simply tossed when I start digging.
Lots of weeds left in this bed. They will need to be dug out. The irises to the left will be going out, too.
This is no one day project. If the winter continues to be mild as it has been thus far, I figure I will complete the beds with planting included by the end of March. Maybe I can get done sooner, but March is my goal. By then the Bradford Pears will be blooming and also the daffodils. I hope to have my plants in the ground and ready to bloom like mad all Spring, Summer and Fall.
Stay tuned for Gardening updates as I plan to blog my way through the project. Don't worry, I haven't abandoned fashion and will continue to blog about that, too. This will continue to be a fashion blog primarily.
My question to you, dear reader is this: Do you fancy yourself an annual, perennial or weed? What activity works best for you when you need "therapy?"
Coming up this week on Fashion RECON:
A new series concerning shoes
The first ever GiveAway!!