Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day in the dirt

Today it was 55 degrees, but to me, it felt like the best days of summer after all of the wet and cold the past three months.

So it became a productive day. I bought some red mulch to see if it would look as good as I thought it would as a border around the yard, and it's going to look great when I get the whole yard finished. Right now I plan on a section a weekend.
Then it was fresh topsoil on the raised beds. The dirt I bought last summer for them seemed to be a bit clayey (I know, not a word- DEAL). So, when I moved the beds this winter I made sure to add a lot of material from the compost pile and then put a good 3-4 inches of topsoil on today. I'm hoping that by the time I go to plant in a couple of weeks, I'll be able to mix it up real nicely and get better soil this summer, although the vegetables didn't seem to really care last summer, most did well.

I also was able to cross another thing off my list- I bought and planted two fruit trees, an apple and a peach. I love how apple trees look in the spring, and I have fond memories of the gigantic peach tree outside of my apartment in Brooklyn. I know it'll be a few years before they fruit, but there is something permanent about planting trees and it made me proud to know I could do it.

Next, I dug a trench all along the side walkway. A friend of mine had given me a bag full of tulip bulbs a couple of months ago. And I mean a huge bag, at least a hundred bulbs. They've been sleeping peacefully in the garage. Today they went in the ground so hopefully in a little while the walkway will have lovely tulips flowering in crazy profusion and a disorganized pattern.

The final project of the afternoon was to finish digging out the rain garden, now that all the water is gone (but a lovely chemical gunk remained, ew. What the hell are my neighbors behind me dumping into their yard that's running into mine?).

Now I'm ready to head to the nursery and get the plants for the rain garden: some ferns, black eyed susans, grasses. Once I plant them I'll lay down a layer of pine needles to help combat the chemical gack and then mulch and finally round off the berms. I'm very excited to see it take shape. Although the extra digging at the end of the day, I'm sure will make me crippled tomorrow!
It was just what I needed after a shit-ass week at work. I felt better as soon as I was covered in dirt and working. It's nice to have some hints of spring after the long winter. It was also wonderful to see small parts of my plan for the yard to take shape in just little ways.

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