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June 17th, 2009

My Garden

I've been waiting to post photos of my garden because I LOST my shots. Keep thinking I'll find them in a memory card somewhere. Why don't I take more? Okay, I will.

Anyhow, as you may recall, I injured my knee. Well, the MRI revealed a large bone fragment floating around in there, making it painful and nearly impossible to walk for awhile.

Before I could get my appointment w/the orthopedic specialist, the bone fragment must have wandered into another part of my knee, because now I'm perfectly mobile, save for a bit of tenderness. I'm putting off the appointment with the specialist for now.

During those hobbled days, Curt built two beautiful raised beds over the places where I'd started digging my garden.

So, the man who tends to finish my projects finished a project for me yet again.

To be honest, I was a little put out by his building these beds and plopping them right on top of my hard work. I was appreciative, but gently mentioned something about the cost (he said these would last 15 years), and then about how I would have been perfectly happy for him to help with the in-ground beds versus starting something completely new.

Actually, I really do like these beds, even if it seems like overkill after speaking with a neighbor gentleman who informed me that our Iowa soil doesn't so much as require tilling. What?

According to this man, I could have just put the seeds in the ground without having done ANY soil tilling or prep work, and my veggies would have grown well. I thought he was joking, but he wasn't. He insisted that I could have simply pulled up a little grass in the place in my yard where I wanted each seed to be sown, and sown the seed.

Sound crazy?

He used to be the gardening editor for Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.

Oh well.

Anyway, it's exciting and somewhat miraculous to watch a seed grow into a plant. I said as much to the former garden editor the other day when we were working on a neighborhood landscaping project. I told him that watching things grow was nothing short of miraculous, and he said that he thinks about that every time he's outside.

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My half of the yard

In our household, I've become the "front yard" person, and Curt is the "back yard" person.

Each year, I start to fret about "curb appeal" as things start to grow. I trim the hedge, mow the lawn, plant the window boxes, etc.

If I didn't do this, nobody would. The grass could go to seed in the front and Curt would remain engrossed in the back yard, oblivious, because he's more interested in gardening than in trimming hedges.

Our home used to be owned by an avid and experienced gardener, and our small back yard is beautifully planted in perennials, ornamental trees, and a lovely Asian pear tree.

Curt will spend hours dividing perennials, moving plants for better light, pruning trees, and balancing the size and shape of plantings for the space.

I've been facing the front yard a day or two at a time, depending on weather. On one day I'll trim the hedges, the next I'll weed one of the two garden beds, and the next day I'll cut the grass. Then the cycle starts all over again.

After I proved myself a miserable failure at bringing in or otherwise protecting our wicker furniture out front, we decided to buy some new outdoor furniture that could withstand the elements if neglected. Though I was not that keen to buy new, I was also not keen to spend half my summer at garage sales looking for something I liked. I'm getting more and more that way.

As an experienced yard saler, I know that it pays to always be looking, and to start looking now for things you will need later (my garage is FULL of bargains I've bought that I may need later--heh, heh).

I went to a couple sales looking for furniture and then I pooped out. Curt said he'd seen something he liked at World Market. We looked, and BINGO! A wood outdoor furniture set was on sale for a great price, including the cushions. We snapped it up and I have to say that I am pleased as pie.

I like things a little rustic and funky (remind me to show you my wall cabinet) but this set is rather Pottery Barn. That's okay. No buyers remorse here. Very happy to have my front patio settled and comfy for entertaining.

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What I'm Reading

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The Impossible Will Take a Little While, edited by Paul Rogat Loeb

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K.Rowling (reading to my children)

Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman

Understanding the Bible by John A. Buehrens

The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth by Thomas Jefferson