Did I tell you that my friend Sam rocks hard core? Well, she does. She is a woman of frightening competence and remarkable achievement. But also? Incredibly nice. And? She likes me enough to go along with many of my crazy schemes. Last year, when she came up here for our college reunion, she stayed a few days after, and, among other things, the two of us entirely redid Monkey's closet. In two days. Like took apart what was in there, caulked, painted, and hung up the new hardware. Oh, and there was much rejoicing.
This time she came out just to see me. And how do I repay her? By asking her to "help" with the garden, by which I mean do most of the physical labor of getting it cleaned up, organized and expanded. And she agreed.
Brief historical diversion. I am not very good at gardening. Two summers ago we put up our first raised beds. And (don't laugh) planted tomatoes in a shallow bed that was mostly in the shade. Predictably, pretty much a fail. Last year, in the new house, we planted tomatoes in a deep bed, though one that still spent a sizable portion of the day in the shade. Cucumbers went into a shallow bed. So did peas and green beans, but the damned bunny made quick work of those, twice. Cucumbers and tomatoes though? We had a lot of them. They were goooooooooooood. And they made me feel so accomplished. I know it was mostly photosynthesis, but hey, I managed to stay out of its way enough to let it do its thing. And I learned a few things along the way. Including that I probably overcrowded the tomato bed, and it might be a better idea to use deep pots for individual plants next time around.
Back to present tense. It's been raining for days on end. Sam arrived Saturday, but not until today, the day she was leaving, did we get breaks in the rain long enough to reasonably expect to not get soaked while spending a decent amount of time outside. So we pulled all of the grass and random other plants that made their annoying way into last year's shallow bed. And then Sam moved some of the old dirt from the beds into the pots, nine in all. After which we started opening the nags of new soil, to add to and mix with the old, in both the pots and the beds. Altogether we used over 17 cubic feet of soil, most of nine large bags, and Sam lifted, tipped, and shook every single one of them. In her nice jeans. I was only allowed to scoop soil out of open bags to direct the flow. And now my deep pots and my beds, shallow and deep, are ready and waiting for the seedlings that will be going in tomorrow. And I have one more cubic foot of soil to deal with the smaller pots my sister brought over for me to use-- I think those will end up being herbs.
So I still don't know what the summer will bring. But at least, barring some major fuckups, there will be tomatoes. And cucumbers. And, hopefully, brussel sprouts. And maybe I will try those peas and green beans again-- maybe the bunny won't show up this year with the new puppy's scent all over the back yard.
Also, Sam rocks. No?