Back at our old home, the snow is quickly melting off the lawn and gardens, revealing grass that awaits only a light raking to spring to new life. Daffodils, warmed by the house’s foundation, are heading up for a mid-April bloom. The buds, too, are swelling on hundreds of mature flowering trees and shrubs.
|The house is finished, but now it|
needs a garden....
|Our circa 1980 rototiller|
Three days ago our aging rototiller came home, renewed with a host of sparkling new belts, hoses, and other parts, and ready to do its best.
But while the machine is the same, the man behind that TroyBilt is not the same guy who, in 1980, created a 50 by 200 foot garden in a single weekend of sweaty, muscular grit and determination. That was more than half a lifetime ago. He is 35 years older and those muscles, while they have exactly atrophied, aren’t what they were once upon a time.
And, tilling that dirt is just the first step toward turning it into soil. There needs to be truckloads of compost worked into it plus whatever else a soil test tells us it needs. Then, there are dozens of shrubs to plant, grasses and perennials to place, and paths to create.
Like I wrote at the beginning of this essay, what have I gotten myself into?
We do these things out of love. We also do these things because we want to prove to ourselves that we still possess the stamina to carry out a major project that is long on physical effort. Mostly, we do these things because we want to be able to say that we had a hand in creating something beautiful. But, all the same, get ready to pass the Advil.