Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Just Call Me Farmer Jane. On Second Thought...Don't.

So we’ve rounded the corner on May and are sliding into June already.  And the flowers we bought weeks ago are still in their flimsy pots on the front porch. 

If we wait long enough, the season will be over and we will have avoided the whole dirty process of digging holes in the dirt and tossing in said flower.  We can just throw away the flimsy pots with their dead flowers and be done with it.

Have I mentioned I do not possess a green thumb?  Oh, yes.  I did right here.  Rather emphatically, I might add.

So how did flats of annuals come to appear on our front porch? 

Well, as you might guess, it wasn’t my idea.

One day in May Vince and his father visited the Dawes Arboretum in Newark. All the floral displays and greenery there must have inspired them so they went to a greenhouse and bought flats of annuals.  And Vince brought these home to me.

I looked at them with a perplexed look on my face and said, “And...what do you expect me to do with these??!” 

He chose to ignore my sarcasm. Instead, he stated matter-of-factly  that I should plant them. Into the ground.  I didn’t tell him what my matter-of-fact response would have been had I chosen to state it aloud.

Nevertheless, I gamely accompanied Vince and his son to the store a few days later to buy bags of mulch; a purchase that has never before graced my credit card statement and never even entered my mind as something I would need to buy.  Ever.

So while Vince and his son were busy reviewing their mulch options, I wandered over to the baskets of flowers. 

Now, I’ve never said I don’t like flowers.  On the contrary, I love flowers.  I just don’t want to be the one growing them. Or watering them. Or pinching off the dead stuff. I am, however, fairly handy at filling a vase from the kitchen sink and arranging cut flowers in that vase, but that’s about the extent of my expertise.

Yet they had beautiful hanging baskets of…flowers.  See?  I don’t even know the names of them. Pansies? Petunias? Some name that doesn’t start with a P?  Who knows?  I was pretty confident in the colors, however, so in keeping with my theme I bought a basket of pink flowers and a basket of purple flowers. 

I figured I could keep them in their hanging baskets on our front porch. I’d even make the effort of watering them every day and pinching off the dead buds.  And they’d add some color to the front of our house and people couldn’t say I wasn’t making the effort.

Yeah, like that worked for me.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I have managed thus far to keep those pink and purple flowers alive in their hanging baskets. And I do water them every day and pinch off the dead blooms.

But that’s not all I had to do on that fated mulch-buying day. 

I had to help carry the bags of mulch and other gardening stuff from the car to the yard. And I even had to don the pretty pink gardening gloves Vince so considerately bought for me so I could help dig in the dirt.

Our plan of attack was to start on the flower bed that is most visible from the street. Last year it was filled with some sort of green viney stuff and an overgrown crabapple tree that littered our yard and walkway with crabapples.

Clearly, the previous owner did not possess a green thumb either.  When we moved in last year, our yard more closely resembled a jungle than it did any of the manicured yards that flank our house.  We had weeds so big a novice such as myself wasn’t sure if they were bushes or trees or actual weeds.

The fact that our yard looks halfway decent now is a testament to Vince’s efforts.  He has worked long and hard out there to get the greenery tamed and looking somewhat respectable.

He had the crabapple tree and all that viney stuff removed and in its place he and his son planted some sort of flowering tree. Don’t ask me the name of it because I do not know. When it does flower – hopefully by next year – it will have pretty pink flowers on it.  That’s the extent of my knowledge of it.

So we got to work on this flower bed, which seemed the perfect bed in which to plant all those flats of annuals.  We started pulling weeds and turning the dirt to prepare it for the flowers, except that it was filled with roots.  Lots of roots. Roots that seemed rather permanently, well, rooted in that dirt. 

After a couple hours of hard, sweaty labor in which we filled two trash cans with yard waste, I gave up. And I wasn’t the only one.  We moved on to another area and spread mulch, which greatly enhanced the appearance of that bed, by the way.  So I might even become a fan of the mulch.

But after the spreading of the mulch, we were thoroughly exhausted and hot and sweaty and all done in.  Besides, it was getting dark outside, so we gave up for the day.

That was a couple weeks ago. And nothing has been done to those flower beds since.

It’s going to take more than any muscle power I possess to clear that bed of roots, so I can’t see the flowers getting planted in there anytime soon.

So the other night I went out and bought some colorful ceramic pots. I’ve decided I will plant the flowers in these pots and distribute them around the yard. We’ll get those flowers out of their flimsy pots anyway. And our irrigation system can take over the watering for me.

Yeah, I’m going to get on that right away.  Maybe even tonight.

Or…not.  My thumb has not turned the slightest shade of green during this whole process. And…um…I think my pretty pink gardening gloves are all dirty.  Probably I should wash them first. Or maybe I even lost them sometime since I haven't seen them lately. I couldn’t possibly start digging in the dirt without gardening gloves, could I?

Oh crud. I’m sure none of those excuses are going to work for me. Guess I’d better start diggin’…

To be continued, I'm sure…

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