Monday, June 30, 2008

Putting down roots

Since moving to Bloomington, I've been putting down roots in more ways than one. This past Saturday, at farmer's market, I bought four plants. Then I went to Happy Valley and bought two more. (Happy Valley is not the real name of the nursery - but, that is what I call it - because it makes me happy when I go there.)(It is actually Bloomington Valley Nursery - co-owned by our friend, Seth.) I try to buy from everyone - Happy Valley, May's and farmer's market.
Then, I went home to plant. I wanted to do a garden with full sun near the entry way to the drive. I started digging up the grass. This was a backbreaking task. I put the shovel in just under the upper level of the grass, then ripped it apart with my hands, trying to shake free the dirt beneath. In the area where we live, which must have been an old limestone quarry, the moment you put your shovel down, you hit limestone. The very first time, I thought it was buried treasure. On Saturday, I dug up enough limestone to edge my new garden with it. I hate to wear gloves when I garden - I want to feel the dirt and roots, and usually, despite being filthy, my nails survive. But the rocks are hard on my nails.
At farmer's market I bought:

in lavender and white

Butterfly bush

and Moonbeam

at Happy Valley I bought:

Fox grass (which the internet calls fountain grass) (but, I guess lots of plants have several common names)
and creeping thyme.

I put the creeping thyme down front, the moonbeam on the upper right, the echinacea at the next level, even with one another and then I put the fox grass to the back because I think it will get to be the biggest. I hope to attract butterflies. Then, I went out to the barn and located a box that had "porch stuff" written on it and one of the things I retrieved was my "butterfly bath" which is a low dish that you fill with river rocks in it and then you put water in it. I should also put a couple of pieces of fruit in it for the butterflies.

I also bought a bee hive watering can on Saturday:

mine has a patina finish which I think is even prettier than the copper - I found it for $15. at Lowe's. Dug said "you are actually going to put water in it?"

There is one whole section of the yard that I told Dug to stop mowing (you can imagine, he was quite happy to oblige). I am buying new plants and putting those in and also letting what I want to grow wild. My philosophy right now is to rip out anything that I don't like (like dandelions) and anything that gets too close to stuff I've bought. Dug also isn't mowing much under our ginormous pine tree because not much grows under it, anyway, but now we have several ferns coming up! I was glad to see that.

There are a couple of queen anne's lace back by the barn that I have my eye on...and there are a lot of the orange butterfly plants everywhere growing wild. I need to walk out in the woods next to the house. Dug wants to concentrate on fruit next spring. Hollyhocks are are blooming everywhere and when I see them, I think "next year."

Gardening is so therapeutic and I have been seeking quite a bit of therapy, lately. It is good exercise. It is aesthetically pleasing. It is good for my soul and makes me happy.

Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity.~Lindley Karstens

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