When we moved into our new home May 2, 1981 I remember telling my husband: I take care of the children (at that point only one), I take care of the house, I work for our business full time, but I don’t do the garden. Well, he didn’t either
Over the years we have been ecologically proper without even trying, i.e. the lawn that I spent so many hours weeding on hands and knees the first couple of summers, turned into a prairie – one where dandelions provide the greater share of color, although in recent years a touch of blue has been added by some other weed that likes the soil and climatic conditions. The hedges flourish – their roots preventing any serious planting of more delicate flowers.
The oaks have this thing for promptitude and regularity: every year thousands of acorns receive their blankets of leaves – all needing to be raked and disposed of in green compost bins. Now, I know some would say, why don’t you just leave them be? That would show lack of knowledge about oak acorns: 5 days and you have a root about 10 “ long – our lot would now be an oak forest and the house non existent, strangled by offshoots and buried in leaves.
When we built the winter garden, we transplanted the terrace several feet further: it likes to collect any stray seedlings and moss if the springs are wet.
As I travel a lot – and so far have yet to find guests or housemates that enjoy gardening – it is a good year if the front and terraces are in reasonable shape for the annual August 1 cocktail party (Swiss Independence Day). Once it was perfect even with a new stone patio laid when a neighbor needed work for an immigrant that she was sponsoring, but it was only once.
The cleaning lady plants a flowerbed and occasionally mows (an electric mower, which the parents could handle, was an anethma to both sons: even bribery didn’t work as they would reply, that, thank you very much, they had enough pocket money!). The housemate and myself rake the acorns and leaves and occasionally remember to water houseplants.
Until that glorious day when said housemate fell in love: the “fiancé” enjoys gardening as a physical outlet for all his intellectual occupations – hallelujah. In one day a couple of weeks ago he managed to totally take care of leaves, rubbish and weeds under the roses, then continued to dig up stones and lift the tarp covering from what used to be the front lawn until the cleaning lady and I dug it up, then didn’t put water in the roller to properly level it. Replacing them, he realized that one was shorter than the other so laid them horizontally, which led to redesigning the front walkway and entry. OK, we haven’t had time to implement much, but it’s a start and gave me the necessary push to weed the terrace and water the one flowerbed – thus the watering part of today’s acronym.
Clipping: I was on a roll and the sun not yet at its zenith, so took the clippers and went along the outside hedge cutting all the very spikey, sticky weeds protruding on to the sidewalk at all levels: passersby now no longer risk their skin and clothes being torn, nor I a suit for damage.
Planting: more minimal, but I had found a clematis bearing my name in the local garden center – so it joined the flower bed before it got hot this morning, as did my grown-from-seed cornflower seedlings.
Now to watch it all and maintain the rhythm. Thanks for the help R!