I am dead.
I’ve been working on a lovely introduction to this post referencing the Secret Garden and the joy of tending a neglected garden. But it’s not coming together for me, and I lack the mental power to make it work. Because I am dead.
You never heard any of the characters from the Secret Garden say, “I am dead. This garden has killed me.” Let’s be honest here, Ben probably said it, but Frances Hodgson Burnett did not include it in her story of love, childhood and horticulture.
In my story of love, adulthood, responsibility, country living and horticulture, landscaping has started.
The turn around has gone from mountain goat terrain to a blank slate, thanks mostly to our farmer with his heavy equipment.
I’ve weeded one flowerbed and my mother-in-law tackled two more. (All of the plant pots were left by the last owners. The plants are still alive, so I’ll be planting them soon on the blank slate of the turn around).
My father-in-law trimmed some of the trees and stumps around the pond. We still have a ways to go before we can actually mow the shore, but I’ve staked out the new fire pit, and we have lots of wood ready to burn.
Matt, my Dad and I dismantled one of our biggest rock piles on the property–and it only took us four hours.
I started building a new flower garden around the well head. And this is when I died.
Last year’s landscaping efforts were limited to some very cursory grass cutting. The property was unkempt when we bought it, and our neglect over the past year while we focused on the basement reno made it worse.
The amount of work required to bring a garden back after years and years of neglect is never mentioned in the Secret Garden. Sure there’s a bit of pruning and weeding, but mostly it’s romance and roses.
In the category of things get worse before they get better, even our efforts at clean up have led to more mess. Drilling the new well and trenching new waterlines destroyed one established flowerbed and left lumpy piles of very hard dirt in its place. Burning brush and scrap lumber as we’ve tried to pick up around the property resulted a mountain of ash and a half scorched spruce tree.
Landscaping was at the top of the list on my home goals for this year, and I will get a handle on the situation outside, even if it kills me.