Something interesting happened on Friday. Besides Jen coming over to happily renovate my garden, that is.
Are you sitting down?
I helped her (well, as much as she would let me), and I HAD FUN.
I know. I can’t believe it either.
I was ready to live-blog the heck out of Friday. I was looking forward to Jen’s visit but not the gardening part. The level of complaining I had assumed I’d reach would have been epic. It would have made great material. My post would have been titled “The Angry Gardener.”
Alas, I tweeted a few times and just…went with it.
Although I am not suddenly going to be found outside in the dirt on a regular basis from now on, I learned that, similar to when I tell people who claim they hate exercise that they haven’t found the right exercise for them yet, there are circumstances under which gardening is bearable for me. Well, there is ONE circumstance under which gardening is bearable for me. Gardening is bearable for me–and fun, even–when I do it with Jen. Period.
What I hate about gardening in general:
~Being out in the heat
What was fun about gardening with Jen:
~Jen is hilarious
~Chatting with a friend seemed to make the time go by faster
~Having guidance from an on-site gardening expert made the process more exciting
~Jen is hilarious (worth repeating)
“Let’s get our garden on!” ~@thenextmartha
You should see the fun @thenextmartha and I are having, ripping the river rocks out! #gardeningwithjen
Putting rocks back along the garden edge. @thenextmartha: “Yeah, I’m gonna have to ask you to stop.” #gardeningwithjen
Me: “We could get Jimmy Johns delivered but it’s not far so I can go.” @TheNextMartha: “Yeah, because I don’t need you.” #gardeningwithjen
That’s it. I spent the rest of the time working.
About those river rocks, by the way: the first thing Jen started doing was ripping out the rock border and re-edging the whole area. She said, grinning, “I bet you didn’t know this was on my to-do list today, did you?” It made a huge difference immediately. I helped a little bit with that (but not much, because she was serious about wanting me to stop) and then shoveled some new dirt in the garden to level things out a little bit.
Jen started placing plants (including a bunch that she was kind enough to bring from her own garden) on top of the dirt so she could determine how things were going to look, and then she gave me a short list of plants that she wanted me to get, to add some color. I ran out to the store (she made me!) to get the plants and some limestone stepping stones while she continued working.
When I returned home she had most of the plants in the ground and had already started spreading the mulch on either end of the space (after placing newspaper–instead of weed barrier–on top of the dirt). I helped get the new plants into the ground and we finished putting newspaper and mulch down and then…just stared at the garden. It was a huge “Wow” moment.
Wait, why don’t I give you a “Wow” moment, too?
Here’s the “Before” (remember, I had to draw it because I didn’t take a picture):
Here’s how the “garden” (and I use that term loosely) looked when Jen finished some of the prep work earlier in the week:
Are you ready?
Aren’t you excited?
I keep walking by the front window to make sure it’s still there. Wouldn’t you??
Many of the plants we removed from my original “garden” are going to be repurposed on the side of the house which–this shouldn’t be a surprise to you–needs lots of attention. I need to get that going today but I anticipate feeling lonely. I wonder if Jen is busy…