Saturday, May 19, 2012

Gardening: Mum Mum's Day!

It is a generally accepted rule of thumb that it is not a good idea to buy women gifts that represent work. Vacuum cleaners, stoves and the like are generally frowned upon. To a woman who enjoys gardening, however, a live, plantable flower is far superior to the gift of the kind that dies slowly in a vase. My children did well in purchasing a beautiful flowering mum (or, since I am traditionally called "Mum Mum," a beautiful flowering mumumumumum) as my Mother's Day gift.

After enjoying my breakfast in bed(with company), I went straight to work on it. Sunshine is scarce here in the woods, so the only available sunny bed outside the herb and vegetable gardens is at the base of the so-called "mother-in-law rock" at the end of my driveway. (Mother-in-Law Rocks are so called because of the propensity of visiting relatives to knick the marker boulders with their bumpers when they cut the corner too close when departing.) The rock, however, had not been painted in years, and was faded, dirty, and covered with mold. Likewise, the small bed was full of small stones, weeds, and roots from a nearby tree. There was a lot to be done.

I started by repainting the rock. I scrubbed the mold off with a brush and bucket, and I knocked off as much of the old, flaking paint as possible. Mr. Farmer located a small can of leftover white paint from some previous project, but other supplies were lacking. So, like with most spur-of-the-moment projects, I improvised. A disposable takeout container from some Chinese food made a suitable paint tray. There were no large paintbrushes available, so I used a rag made from an old towel. In no time, the rock was sparkling white on the flat side that faced the road.

Next I had to see to the bed itself. I dug out what seemed like miles of roots and sifted out the driveway stones that had been splashed into the bed. I repaired the stone wall. I dug a deep hole on one side of the bed, and lined the bottom with straw, as suggested by Mr. Farmer. I set in the beautiful, flowering mum(mum) and backfilled it with aged pig manure. I leveled the dirt, touched up the paint, and the job was done.

Now this is the beautiful sight that greets me when I come home from work in the evening:

I Can't Wait to Choose the Flowers for
the Other Side of the Bed!

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