My pen-pusher hands took some severe mauling this weekend. As you may or may not know people with ADD tend to overdo things a bit at times.
The previous weekend Lamb bought a few trays of seedlings in order to get some colour in our garden. I bought a few herb plants. We never got round planting it, so it spent the week under a tree on the front lawn. Then this past Saturday, Image and I went to the nursery again, they had a special on lemon trees (R44.00 for shoulder height) they cost up to R300 sometimes! Now with Lamb not there to put some restraint on me, I ended up spending R500.
I am not a good gardener, and have not spent time in the garden in AGES (other than watering it). So, unlike Tamara, with her green fingers, I generally do not know the names of plants (unless it is of the edible variety of course). This is what (over two weekends) we bought: Lamb: seedlings (petunias, I think), geraniums-which-is-actually-pelargoniums (I looked it up just now – we call it ‘Malvas’ in Afrikaans – but it has nothing to do with the pudding) and a few bags of compost. Hardspear: more seedlings – I don’t know the name but conical shaped ones with 2/3rds dark green leaves at the bottom and 1/3 dark red pointy flowers on top, 3 lavender bushes, the on-special-lemon-tree, a shrub of some sort, a shitload coriander, basil and chilli plants (very small), a larger basil and coriander, traditional curly leaf parsley and chives. I bought more compost, bone meal and LAN lawn dressing.
Then... yesterday (Sunday)... after church we went to the shops and got home at 12:00. I donned myself in old clothes, wide brim floppy khaki hat, slathered sunscreen on (Lamb’s SPF 30 ROC on neck shoulders and her SPF 50 Vichy on my face – which I sweated off within 10 minutes) and my trusty old Crocks on my feet. I then proceeded with serious back-breaking work:
• Prepared the built-in flowerbox by the kitchen door for Lamb. Tilled the soil & mixed with compost. Watered.
• Dug 3 holes next to the back wall in the garden. Arduous – since the soil is extremely poor and hard packed. Not even the recent rain loosened it much.
• I have two large loquat trees on the sidewalk (left of the drive-way) – and schtuff does not grow well under it, but I managed to get the better part covered in small-leaved ivy. It took years. To the right of the driveway is a small ugly square, where I managed to get a rectangular frame of dessert roses growing. So inside the frame I dug another 3 holes and planted the lavender in a row from the wall to the street. In-between I put some of the pointy red flowers.
• Dug a yet another big hole in the hard packed stretch next to the back wall. My mother-in-law says it is better to put compost/potting soil mixed with ordinary soil in large outside planters, since it keeps water better. Proceeded to mixed soil with compost as per the old woman’s advice.
• Planted a dying indoors potplant, the shrub and lemon tree next to the back wall. Took out a few waist length weeds (my fortnightly gardiner spends all his time in the beautiful shady front garden, but avoids the massive back garden totally. My back garden is like The Beginning – formless and empty. (Though I don’t believe the Spirit of God hovers over the water since we do not have a pool). I do hope he (or his Angels) hovers over the whole property though – I pray that anyway...
• Screamed at the dogs who got hold of the bag of bone meal and licking it and rolling in it where they spilled it.
• Put layer of rocks and gravel at the bottom of two big empty planters and then filled it with compost & soil mix. Shouted for Lamb that flower box & planters are ready, she can come and do the very tasking sticking-in of seedlings & pelargiums.
• Nearly gave myself a hernia by picking up a very large planter (full of wet soil – but devoid of plants) in the front garden, loading it on a wheelbarrow and taking it to the back. My boardshorts split from my crotch right down the left leg as I was straining to lift the damn thing. Lamb nearly wet herself. Repeated the process with second large planter, pants split further.
• Arranged one narrow tall planter, two large squat planters and a number of small pots in a corner near kitchen door. Planted most of the larger herbs in the big planters. Took all the small ones out of their trays and re-planted them in the smaller pots.
• Suddenly got MASSIVE headache – ate a sandwich, drank gallons of water and one of those migraine kits one get from the pharmacy.
• Watered everything – swept up the dirt, cleaned up and stashed the garden tools.
• Peed on the lemon tree through torn shorts. Cool, only had to negotiate out of my Jockey’s no zippers or waistbands to hamper.
Finished by 19:00. Took a bath and really had to scrub to get myself clean again. Lamb then got a very bad allergic reaction, sneezing, coughing and itching all over. Drove to emergency pharmacy to get Allergex. I am wondering if perhaps the moist compost from the sealed plastic bags contained high levels of spores or something, hence my sudden headache and Lamb’s allergic reaction.
My long departed uncle had the most beautiful healthy lemon tree in his garden bearing massive fat, juicy lemons. He believed that this was due to him and my cousin taking their last pee at night before going to bed, next to the lemon tree.
Looked it up on the web. Seems to be a good old Aussie tradition. When having a barbie, the men pee on the lemon tree. Apparently urine is also a very good compost activator.
I am still in a daze from whatever they put into that migraine kit...