Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Digging In


"Today we finish the garden!" I said pulling on my work boots--again--and putting on my soil-encrusted baseball cap--again.
"You said that last weekend," Mr Wonderful mumbled rubbing his shoulder. "And the weekend before that. And the--"
"Today is different."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm tired of being dirty."

We'd worked on it for a whole month. Every weekend was devoted to doing something in the front yard: 1) Creating the Pétanque court; 2) Planting the natives and drought-tolerant plants; 3) Weeping that it was taking so long.

So single-handedly I decided that today--yes TODAY!--was the final day. 

My garden design had a three-prong approach:
Close to the house I had a bed of purple lavender and a bed of purple and white lantana. In the middle we built the honey-colored Pétanque court. Along the street we planted the California natives that were so small they didn't show up in pictures now, but next year! Just wait! They'll be huge!

At the half dozen nurseries I shopped at, I picked the biggest, healthiest drought-tolerant plants. Unfortunately when I got them home and in the ground, they looked itty-bitty. 

Here's the lantana BEFORE going into the ground.


Here's the lantana AFTER going into the ground. Sigh.


Then we watered and mulched everything we'd planted. Plants love nothing better than being snuggled under a bed of rotting leaves and decomposing tree bark, which you have to disperse while doing a downward facing dog pose. Ah! Gardening is so glamorous!

Then we created a path of stepping stones to walk from the Pétanque court to the front walk sprinkling Dymondia, aka "Silver Carpet" among them.

So here's the plant list: 
Manzanita, Cleveland Sage, Salvia, Wooly Blue Curls, Verbena, Blue Fescue, Dymondia, Buckwheat, Dragon's Blood, Lavender, Yellow Bladder Pod (yes, that is a real plant) and Aloe.

As the sun was spreading pink and melon colors across the evening sky, we finished the garden. Finito. I stood up and tossed my soiled garden gloves in the wheelbarrow. Mr. Wonderful looked at me and laughed.
"You're covered in dirt," he said.
"Well get a good look because this is the end of me being dirty." 
"What do you mean?"
"Last one in the pool is a rotten egg!"

That evening the pool never felt better.