Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Things I'm Learning About Gardening: Part I

Things I have learned this week about gardening and landscaping:

  • Gardeners cuts blooms and branches for their tables not only because they look lovely, but because pruning the plants keeps them in check and keeps them healthy. This has literally never occurred to me. 
  • Forsythia branches turn into roots where they touch the ground, and the bush expands in this manner into a snarled mess. This is why I had difficulty mowing the lawn around these bushes last year.
  • Forsythia is not pronounced "For Cynthia". I don't know why I put an 'n' in there, but I think it sounds nice.
  • If you rake your lawn in the spring, you can pull up the mat of dead grass left over from last year's lawn.
  • Take before and after pictures before you go at an overgrown tree or shrub, so you can see how much work you did, and admire how much better it looks.
  • Stone is expensive. I'm not sure what I expected, but I just want a few stepping stones and most places want you to purchase a whole pallet of the nice kinds.
  • The dog is really interested in digging in freshly tilled soil.
  • The dog is also determined to steal my root digging tool, convinced that it is a magical stick that is ideal for playing Keep Away. He tries to be sneaky, which is quite adorable because he's terrible about being sneaky.
  • Spending two hours pulling dandelions is akin to two hours of squats. I have muscles screaming at me in places I didn't even know I had muscles.
  • If you put a "Free!" sign out in front of your pile of limbs and branches, teenagers planning a bonfire will haul away your pile for free.
The annual war against dandelions has begun. In the last four days I have pulled over 2000 weeds from the yard and garden (mostly dandelions, but there are lots of tiny maple saplings too), in a bid to reclaim my lawn from the anarchy it was allowed to enjoy in years past. Counting helps me power through the tedium, and gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Last week was World Book Night. This year was the first year I participated as a Book Giver. I chose the Penacook Soup Kitchen as my location to hand out books. I was so nervous! I was certain that I would be rejected every time I offered someone a novel. I shouldn't have worried, though. I handed out my twenty books in under five minutes. Some of the people were already starting to read their books before I had even left. This week I'm trying to find homes for the extra books left over from the bookstore.

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