From Where I Sit – The Garden Whisperer

Traditionally, this is a very busy time of year for me. I’m in the end stages of planning a large event that happens at the beginning of June. Planning begins in January and has been quietly humming away at the back of my mind since then.

In addition, this is crop seeding time. While I don’t actually run any of the equipment, I do help psychically: I worry. I question purchases and tactical decisions. I act as a sounding board when Roy worries. It’s a worry until the seed is in the ground, at which time we can switch to worrying about the weather.

This year I also spent several hours getting ready for the multi-family garage sale. I re-organized the storage container we have, and sorted the boxes, bins and ephemera from Hilary’s event company. Much of that was stored ?at the farm? because we’ve got the space and she doesn’t. Room for an eight-foot Mardi Gras mask, anyone? Or how about a dozen or more Christmas trees?

Not surprisingly, my flowerbeds have been neglected again this spring. I created the beds when I was young and foolish, and the years have brought challenges. Our stupid farm cats think the beds we haven’t yet mulched with gravel are a handy, dandy toilet. We are being invaded by ants. The quack grass problem is epic, despite our having sprayed it with Roundup last year.

It’s getting to be too much. I’d rather play with my grandson, Grady, or my new best friend Mac (a.k.a. the computer). I’d rather read a book or go for a drive. Like a spoiled brat, I want the fruits of a beautiful yard without all the stinkin?, back-breaking work. I want it maintenance-free.

My mom and aunt toured the yard a week or two ago and clucked about all the work and how they wish they could help. Two 80-year-olds to the rescue? Not. They suggested I call a local fellow who loves gardening, and try hiring him to help.

The idea was a good one. Except that I had to make things presentable before he arrived, but not so perfect that he couldn’t see the full extent of my dilemma?like scrubbing the house before the cleaning lady comes. I started clearing out the beds, trimming the dead foliage, and checking to see what survived the winter.

On Saturday Eugene and his wife arrived to have a look. According to him, I’ve got some good plants. The soil could be improved with well-rotted manure. Shouldn’t be a problem, since we used to raise cattle. The biggest issue is quack grass. He suggested either painting pesticide on with a brush or pulling a soaked rag across the individual blades. But he said no when I asked if we could hire him for more than just a consultation; working his own yard and waiting for a hip replacement was enough for him right now. It looks like It’s all me again this year, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.

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