March 29, 2003
Al Works Hard

Last weekend, Al and I expended a lot of energy (and several Home Depot gift cards that we'd gotten as wedding and Christmas presents) on gardening. We bought a bunch of flowers (azaleas, bougainvilleas, violas, alyssum, dianthus), some herbs (chocolate mint, lavender, thyme), and a small bush with red and green leaves that I don't remember the name of, but we spent most of our time weeding and pruning rather than planting.

Al pruned his four rose bushes/trees to within an inch of their lives, and I applied the same Linda Hylan method® to the scrawny lemon tree, the big bush/tree next to the gate, and the half-rotted, half-out-of-control tropical fronds between the lemon tree and the gate tree. Al then dug out the mulch-filled hole that used to be the ash tree in our front yard (a casualty of winter storms) and planted the bush whose name I've forgotten, the thyme, the lavender, some violas, and a bunch of alyssum around it. I used the mulch from the hole to cover up the ugly stalks that remained from my tropical frond-pruning, and to cover whatever else of the courtyard garden I could.

I tore up the existing bed of mint (I'd planned to leave a few plants, but the underground stems led to a Bugs Bunny-in-the-carrot-patch kind of "pull here, watch a plant disappear over there" scenario), turned up the mortar-like soil, mixed in some fresh potting soil, and planted the new chocolate mint and a few alyssum. I then mulched around that, removed the ugly pavers from around the lemon tree, and raked all the dead leaves out of the beds. I used the pavers to mark out a new walkway to the lemon tree and to prevent the mulch from spilling out of the beds, and then I mulched around the pavers. We got a lot done, but by Sunday afternoon we were practically incoherent with fatigue and hunger. We went out for Indian food and then called it a night.

Unfortunately, the next morning I woke up with a sore chest, and by Tuesday I had a low-grade fever. I can't say for sure that the source of my germs wasn't my officemates, but I suspect all that digging in the garden had something to do with it. The fever cleared up by Wednesday, but the headache, chest and back ache, nagging cough, and oh-so-green goo remained. That's why I've been largely silent all week—I've been saving my energy for coding rather than blogging.

It's also why I am now sitting in a lounge chair in the shade, pointing out where I want the flowers to go, while Al does all the work. We made another trip to Home Depot this morning to buy a few more pavers, some mulch, and some hanging baskets, and that wore me out. There will be no digging for me today. If I get another burst of energy, I'll put the bougainvilleas in the hanging pots, but for now, I'm staying on the lounge chair.

So far this system is actually working out pretty well. Al seems to be having fun doing the planting, and I'm having fun designing the garden from my perch on the chair. Al's in charge of all things dirt, flower, and mulch-related, and I'm in charge of answering the phone, getting us water, and recording the goings-on.

Posted by Lori at March 29, 2003 01:42 PM