“... if you were a little older,” Kevin added, before pausing again.
... and French.”
The fellow garden enthusiast (“with a lovely accent”) had commented on our front yard and shared some of the similarities between her property in Geneva and ours. She, too, has a mini-orchard, complete with an apricot tree that was hard-hit by frost last month, as well as an almond and some apple trees.
She shares our passion for currants and described a cordial that she makes from the berries that would warm my soul on a cold winter night.
Most importantly, she said she enjoys watching our progress.
We never tire of hearing from fellow diggers-in-the-dirt that they understand it’s an ongoing process. We have to remind ourselves of this almost every time we “call it a day.”
After straightening our backs and rubbing sore muscles, we frequently stand together and assess the changes. There never seems to be a direct correlation between the noticeable differences and how tired we feel.
“It is getting there,” I invariably say, trying my hardest to be objective, despite how woefully far we are from the lush, inviting, finished oasis that I envision.
“Yeah,” he responds with a sympathetic sigh. “We’ve actually done a lot.”
“We have,” I agree. “We have.”
This week, for instance, we:
• prepped all four of the raised beds behind the house;
• planted rainbow Swiss chard, beets and three varieties of peas;
• transplanted broccoli, marigolds, pansies, violas, basil and celeriac;
• weeded dandelions;
• continued to remove clumps of grass attempting to re-establish the lawn as well as wild clover that served as an inadvertent groundcover;
• transferred soil from a future patio site to the orchard area to improve drainage;
• spread more mulch; and
• mowed what’s left of the lawn.
But there’s still so much more to do:
— Building stone walls and pathways — a task made considerably easier by this past week’s rain;
— Building brick “pads” and placing the hardware on the rain barrels;
— Seeding beans, carrots, lettuces, squash, cucumbers, bok choy and more herbs;
— Transplanting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and the remaining basil and marigolds; and
— Mulching the blueberries, lilacs and flower beds.
Whenever I get overwhelmed, Kevin reminds me that we’ll always find things we want to move or add or change — the work will never really be done.
There’s certainly enough to keep us busy for a whole ’nother lifetime!