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what does it mean to be an amateur?

Greetings from Meowderley (as I doubt I will be writing anything serious, this name wins the house naming contest)!

anywho. When we bought the place, there was a huge Juniper bush obscuring the view of the house. This sucker was soo big, that I could've sculpted it into a sea monster or even a cthulhu-like thing (shout out to my buddy, mister sluckey) . And I probably would have, had not the loml made it his personal mission to destroy the thing. Once it was destroyed, with some assistance from a neighbor who owned a chain-saw, there was a huge gaping space in our lawn.

which was cool, I thought. Maybe I could plant some flowers or something decorative, you know? Well, as it happened, a couple of days ago, a friend of the loml's gifted us with about 5 huge lawn bags of plants (thank you, Sara!) Now, she stopped by pretty late in the evening, and I tried to listen to what she said, but all I can vaguely recall is that we got day lillies, hostas, some kind of mint, a suspicious not-quite-a-succulent, and everything else is a mystery to me.

but when I got home today, I noticed that some of the plants were trying to die. Which was not cool. I didn't accept 5 bags of gift plants to let them die on my porch. if there was gonna be any plant death, it would be a result of my shoddy gardening skills. So I grabbed the tiller I had bought the previous day and headed for the empty space in my front lawn.

you have to remember, I've never had a lawn of my own. So I'd googled around on the internet and found some basic instructions. First I was supposed to use the garden hose to designate the shape of the garden I was putting down. well, the hose had been relocated to the bottom of the house.. stop. wait.

this is the part where I have to tell you, that I did everything wrong. ok - so no expectations here. ready?

ok, so the hose had been moved out back of the house and I didn't want to get it cause the whole thing was encased in a hose organizer box and was really heavy. So, I figured that I could just free-hand the shape of the garden. The space left behind by the kraken-bush was relatively circular and matched the existing gardening space on the other side of the driveway. so I had symmetry going for me already. So I started using the tiller, as per the internet instructions (step 2 - till the soil). Sadly, I really couldn't justify spending $300 or more dollars on a mechanical tiller. So I bought a hound dog hand tiller for $25 instead.

heh. hehehe. bwa-hahahaha. ok then. i thought I'd just hand till this space, which didn't seem so big, but I was only a third of the way through and I got really really tired. So I called the loml at work, cause he's strong and I knew he could do this for me! but, no. turns out the loml was going to a poker game after work and neglected to tell me. so two things here:
1 - ladies please note, just because you have a man cave at home, does not mean that your man will stay there. no. he will continue to seek out other man caves (which now sounds vaguely disturbing... anyway).
2 - BAD LOML. next time you're not coming home, you should tell me.

so, after failing to convince my sister to come over and till the space, I figured the hell with it. I had a hand trowel to dig holes for the plants anyway.. why do I need to till ALL the soil?? So then, on to step 3.. sort of. I was actually supposed to plan out on paper where all the plants would go, but I figured I could just open up all the bags and lay the plants out. So I did that, at which point I realized that I wasn't sure what most of them were and what they would do.. and they all looked green (no flowers to be seen) so I just organized by size, kind of. and the internet said I should plant them in odd-numbered groups so they would be more aesthetically pleasing. but then I figured some of them would probably die anyway, so it didn't really matter. So I laid them out and started planting.

this is the part where I figure it was an "organic process", you know like how fashion designers on 'Project Runway' like to say "oh, I am an organic designer... the design just grew this way". right. So I was like an organic planter.. I vaguely recall Sara saying something about giving the plants room to grow, so I stuck the plants in little groupings with space and stuff. and then I wound up tilling all the spots that I wanted to put the plants in anyway.. though I got pretty dizzy a few times and had to take a few breaks.

I refreshed myself with Gatorade and a TastyKake (the butterscotch krimpets, if you must know). I definitely wasn't going to start drinking, because as tempting as it would be to have an excuse for the planting later, I really wanted to give this my best effort (if 'best' means as well as I could do given the circumstances). Anyway.. I planted and tilled and eyeballed the sucker for a couple of hours, cautiously avoiding the neighbors cause I really didn't want to talk about it.

and then I was done. I cleaned up, noted all the mosquito bites that made it through my clothes, and took a last look at my work. which.. was not bad.. but not exactly good either. Cause I know what good looks like, and somehow.. I can tell I didn't quite get it. but I figured it was what it was, and I should get inside and clean up. And I have to tell you, right when I was in the shower, I just started laughing. I was thinking "Is this what its like when the bride shows up in a wedding dress that she made herself?" Cause only the strong plants were gonna survive my planting efforts, which would mean that I had just replaced the kraken-bush with a mutant garden. At which point I realized that fatigue was getting to me and I better get a grip. So there you have it. News from the home front and a picture from just after I was done. I'm not sure what will actually survive but that's a topic for another post.


the sad part is that there is no good angle to take this picture from.. it looks weird from all directions and it looks like I left a hole in the space.. not sure how that happened either : (

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