Monday, October 3, 2016

hands in the dirt

I like to dig. It's one of my favorite parts of gardening. I like to get my hands in the dirt, get out the weeds and crumble the clods, mix in mulch. There's nothing more satisfying than preparing a flower or garden bed, just the pristine dirt at the end waiting to sustain. It's not just plants the dirt sustains. When we get our hands in the dirt we boost our immune system, we breathe in those happy making microbes, we commune with nature, we connect with our roots so to speak.

The dirt was perfect for digging. Not too wet, not too dry, crumbled easily. The day was perfect for digging. Cool, warm in the sun, low humidity with intermittent clouds. So that's what I did. It was my one Saturday a month off, my wild card day so I decided the wait was over and I tackled the end of the little garden in the Big Backyard that had poppies and evening primrose last spring and has been basically abandoned since then. Some of that, a lot of that, was due to, you know, summer. I'd been watching the nut grass slowly take over until one day it had completely colonized that end. So I've been waiting for the weather to cool down enough and Saturday was the day and Sunday as well.

I got all the nut grass out, rousted this spider out. She scurried off and buried herself in the dirt again. 

Shooed away many a toad,

and then reset the concrete blocks that line it which, having been set originally at different times, were not uniform. Now they are which added several inches to the width. Except for the end which I didn't get to. The day ran out and my hands had had enough as well. I'll just square it off next weekend and get it filled with dirt so I can get lettuce and arugula and spinach planted for the fall and winter. Carrots may go over in one of the raised beds. Eventually, hopefully, this fall, I'll get the end rounded out to match what I did this spring on the other end and then foolishly planted the three little banana trees about two feet away which have thrived on the edge of the drain field and the full sun and are now only inches away from the border. You might remember I started this bed as a 4' x 4' for strawberries back in 2011. It's grown considerably since then.

I'd spend the next several days outside if I could but alas, it's Monday and I have to get to work. I'm on the last stencil. Once I get that done, my work on the job is done besides consulting as it gets etched and then cleaning and sealing the finished panels but the bulk of my time will be freed up to work on other things like...yard work and flower beds or new waxes or cold work on the finished castings or housework.

Well, maybe not housework.


  1. DIRT! We love it, don't we? Man, how do people live without it?

  2. Beautiful job, but what are you going to plant this time of year? Cool crops? I know you have a much longer growing season there.

    1. lettuce, spinach, arugula, carrots. usual fall garden crops are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kholrabi, beets, turnips, stuff like that.

  3. Nothing is quite as satisfying as a clean garden bed, is there?

  4. That is a really neat bed. You do good work!!

  5. I enjoy playing in the dirt myself. It can be hard but when you finish the labor og love makes you feel good.

  6. I'm not a big fan of dirt and rejoice in that our townhouse has no dirt for me to take care of.

  7. I can no longer get down. When I run out of granddaughters, it all goes back to nature.

  8. This was reading therapy, Ellen. I could smell the yummy dirt, and I think I saw a toad or two giving you an outrage look for shooing them away. What a glorious day.

  9. New dug dirt, one of my favorite smells. It looks wonderful and so ready for planting.
    The photo of the two frogs is spectacular!

  10. i just love the smell of soil and love to dig and plant like you .
    whenever i get my hands with touch in soil it gives me the sense of being so clse to nature and i love it so much .

    have a wonderful day dear

  11. the toads too...btw..I didn't delete your blog comment..I have no idea what happened

  12. I wish that I had taken to dirt when I was a child, but I ardently disliked the feeling of dirt under my fingernails. Little prissy girl! Now that I don't mind it so much it's still hard for me to crouch or bend over for any length of time - the "new" hip doesn't mind walking, but it's not very happy about bending.

    I love those little toads - so cute!!


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.