Friday 12 May 2017

The Accidental Gardener

Our house has made me a gardener & a weekend yardworker. Nay, it has forced gardening upon me. You may be thinking “you bought a house with a yard, what did you expect?” well, I’ll tell you this much: I sure as hell did not expect to like it. Dare I even say, love it*?

*I’m in the honeymoon stages right now, ask me again in a year’s time how much I still “love” my yardwork and I will most likely be whistling a different tune. Humor me.

I have a theory about how the previous owners viewed the landscaping they did. I feel like 6-7 years ago, they planted a shit ton of perennials with no real plan or future contemplation, and then it was “fuck it, we’re done”. No annual cutting back, no weeding, no thinning out; the more the yard resembled a jungle, the better. Our neighbors asked me when we moved in: “Are you a gardener? Oh.. well, you’re going to be!” Thankfully they’re sweet as pie, so I harbor no resentment that they were the messengers to that little truth nugget. This garden has been serious work since the snow melted, and it will continue to be serious work for quite a few weeks/months to come to get it into decent shape and have an actual theme to it. Worth it. 

Now, I say I definitely did not expect to like it, because I have never liked yard work of any kind. While some have green thumbs, I have grim reaper thumbs – I kill all plants, regardless of how hard I try not to. And I am lazy as fuck when it comes to this stuff. Lazy, lazy lazy. So, some history: The house I grew up in and lived until I was about 14 when we moved had a massive yard/gulley. The yard was MASSIVE and the yardwork was never ending. We would have work bees on the weekend with my parents and my brother, and I would cry, beg, barter, complain, and literally do anything I could think of to get out of it. But damn it, my parents didn’t want to raise no assholes, so they ignored all of it and forced me outside because we are a team! And I would complain and carry on no matter what my job was (literally collecting leaves? Like? God I was insufferable). I would take no less than roughly 30 “bathroom breaks” where I would tool around for at least 10-15 minutes, and sometimes I would just hope they would forget about me and continue on. But again, no lazy little assholes for my parents, so I was always retrieved, given back my rake and to my delight, they had left my section untouched, waiting for me. Sometimes I would win the battle and they would just let me be, but that was scarce. Hey mom & dad, for the 23,457 time: I’m sorry I kind of sucked when I was younger.  Thank you for not entirely holding it against me. Thank you for also reminding me of how terrible I was infront of people like my future husband and in-laws; keeping me humble <3

So, given the backstory here, it’s no more surprising to anyone but me that I am actually enjoying myself, and look forward to the next little job I am going to tackle off my list. There was a soggy, nasty leaf/ moldy apple orgy happening underneath the apple trees underneath the snow, and I was stoked to get a rake to those bad boys and make some piles. Piles full of decaying apples, bugs and soggy ass leaves. WHO AM I.

Give me a pair of gloves (because I’ve grown up, I’m not gross and above ruining my nails), and I loved shoving those into a bag and feeling it squish in my hands. Cutting back all of the dead vines/shrubs around the house to discover the succulents sprouting underneath was so satisfying; I’m seeing mystery flowers budding up and I look outside my window every single morning to see if new things have bloomed yet – specifically my amazing LILAC trees that my mom pointed out to me; besides peonies, lilacs are my favorite flower EVER. Above mentioned apple tree? Full of little tiny pink buds waiting to bloom – I will have BLOOMING APPLE TREES SOON!

Spending a Saturday bent over bushes for hours at a time is so exhausting I want to go to bed at 6, but so rewarding to see everything come together and look good. Jake and I have been so pumped on our weekly trips to Canadian Tire to get more gardening/yardwork/outside supplies, and we literally fist bump at our job well done, both so tired and feeling so accomplished.  By the end of summer, I cannot wait to see what we’ve done and how we’ve transformed parts of our space. Like, in a few months I’m going to be a gardener with a legit garden. Unrelated: anyone know what veggies/herbs are invincible?

First “big job” up on the docket is re-doing the L Bend in the front of the house,  which is currently 25% plants that were planted there on purpose, 30% weeds & 4500% MINT, aka the most invasive plant known to man. Like, honestly, who plants mint as a filler plant!? Garden terrorists. If anyone needs 5 lbs of mint for their summer cocktails, hit me up I have roughly 500 plants in various locations. And counting.  Anyway, that is the first official project, to take it more from “So, what’s happening here?” to an actual symmetrical theme – with no fucking mint.