Working on a bucket list

Sometimes, when things have been so weird and tense and uncertain, then it all gels and becomes unweird, that is what’s weird…the unweird. You get used to it, you know, like a dog gets used to being kicked or you are accustomed to your mother’s awful cooking or something, that’s your version of normal. Only it’s not everyone else’s normal and you don’t realize it’s not normal until it goes away, then normal is weird, but in a good way. I will be glad when this weirdness is normal.  It’s a nice weird.

The company Himself works (worked) for has changed owners, and now he works for a different company, one that is not the dog-kicking normal but is the has-great-benefits-and-he-might-actually-get-real-vacations kind of weird. For 7 years, any time off (which has been minimal) was riddled with crises and phone calls and cutting shorts/cancelling due to all sorts of reasons. Now, there are assurances of all sorts of things I have known were normal for most places but we became accustomed to normal being cut-short vacations and midnight crises phone calls and a host of things I won’t even go into because you wouldn’t believe it anyway. All this can be boiled down into “he will have time. Real time. Like weekends and evenings and vacation.”

It also means, due to an assortment of really clever planning, we are able to implement a bunch of things that are dreams. His dreams, to build custom hunting rifles, and now he has an office nicely furnished with custom made stuff just right for his dream. Well, almost. The parts are there, just need to be put together into a way cool work table and some other things.

And my dreams, to have a landscaped lawn with lovely trees and shrubs, and a big honkin’ vegetable garden that is planned and laid out with walkways and raised beds and a picket fence and a shady spot with a table and chairs and a greenhouse.  I tried to have a wee little vegetable garden but no matter what, it was just too shady and frankly, I had no idea what I was doing.  Currently tomatoes are in pots on the very sunny patio (which is another thing going to be renovated).

Here, let me show you what’s what at the moment, and I will do what I can to illustrate what I want it to look like in the end.


Where I want to put a bunch of raised beds, a white picket fence, and a greenhouse

Where I want to put a bunch of raised beds, a white picket fence, and a greenhouse

I know it looks all shady and inappropriate, but this was taken almost 5 pm, and from 8 am until about 2:30, it is full on sunny. The greenhouse will go at the far left, under that oak tree, and a white picket fence will run the length of it from right to left, with raised beds inside. It will be about 70 feet long and 20 feet wide.  In my imagination it looks something like this:



Is there anyone more optimistic than a gardener?

Is there anyone more optimistic than a gardener?

Only long and narrow instead of square.  I am dreaming of potted citrus trees and herbs and this amazing idea for a green bean trellis:

How clever is that?? Imagine how pretty it would be covered with bean vines.

How clever is that?? Imagine how pretty it would be covered with bean vines. Also, the beds are totally made of cinder blocks. They last forever.

I remember as a kid, spending what seemed like endless weeks hours in the Summer time, pulling the accursed Bermuda grass, and swearing up and down I would NEVER have a garden. Never. Ever.  Then I remembered how delicious fresh picked barely cooked vegetables are. Warm tomatoes, sliced thick and slathered with mayonnaise (Duke’s please) on slices of homemade bread, crisp green beans, fried okra….all largesse from the garden.  Now, I understand the satisfaction…money saving? Bah. None of it. But…how do you price a warm Big Boy on homemade bread?

Anyway, a big beautiful and well planned garden has been on my bucket list for about 20 years. We moved some, or were planning on moving, or were at risk of moving, and putting the effort into it seemed foolish. Now it looks like we might be here a while, and so it will be built.  I might even take up canning stuff, even though it was something I swore would never happen, after those endless steaming canning days from my childhood. Who knows. Or, I might become one of those people who are constantly leaving bags of vegetables on the neighbor’s porch. It’s the least I can do after accidentally cutting down one of his pine trees…that’s another story.

#2 son has much free time this summer, and a burning desire to do heavy labor, so he has been employed as Yard Man, and will be the muscle behind the clearing and construction of the garden. There is currently a massive pile of wood chips, left over from the removal of 32 pine trees (which has caused the yard to become sunny enough for the garden). Soon there will be 6 cubic yards of topsoil, peat moss, and assorted manures/composty stuff, which will be mixed to fill the beds. The wood chips will be used to mulch the walkways between the beds, on top of old carpet gifted by the men who redid our floors. Old carpet makes a most amazing weed barrier, I have used it many times over the past 25 years. And it’s free. Free is good Also, it lasts a LONG time and eventually takes on the coloring of whatever is on top of it, so becomes practically invisible.

Along with all this garden stuff is landscaping the front yard. Like I said, tree removal has resulted in much sunshine. Grass will be seeded in, assorted trees and shrubs planted at the appropriate times, carpet employed as a weed barrier, and probably some form of pinestraw or something. The last place we lived had a beautiful front yard with bloomy things and a stately Japanese Maple. Now our front yard is utterly naked. Seriously. Not even grass. A blank slate. A guy is going to come in next week and till it all up, so we can plant grass, centipede most likely, as it is hardy and drought tolerant and also wet tolerant. We need that here as we never know what’s going to happen.  COme the right time, red, pink and white dogwoods will be added. A Japanese magnolia or three, lovely perennials along the walkway, all sorts of colorful bloomy things all over the place. I want there to be something ALWAYS blooming somewhere. Himself has requested 1000 daffodil bulbs. I desire MORE ROSESS….of course I do. Also daylilies, irises, how many bloomy things are there? I WANT ALL OF THEM.

Anyway, that’s one of the items checked off the bucket list.  Next up: Christmas in NYC. I want to see the windows and eat genuine roasted chestnuts.


About rootietoot

I do what I can.
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4 Responses to Working on a bucket list

  1. Judy says:

    This gave me chills and a big smile!!! I am so happy for your family. Takes me back to my younger days and the huge gardens I put in and all the fresh veggies. I have always wanted (and never, ever had) a Redbud tree. Could you plant one in your new space? It will look beautiful with the Dogwoods. Please?

  2. joannajenkins50 says:

    What a fantastic yard to work with and you are loaded with gorgeous ideas! Our yard is too small for anything fun like that but I’ll enjoy yours 😉
    Can’t wait to see your progress!
    xo jj

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