Garden Therapy

I am finding that the healing effects of earth are numerous. I have always enjoyed working in my flowers, but being able to get down into the vines to hunt for ripe tomatoes and get on my knees and pull weeds is a deeply satisfying endeavor when I am ready to choke folks or am just generally emotionally satiated and/or psychologically devastated. It is a great leveller.

Last night it was finally cool enough to spend some time out in the yard and I communed with the peppers and leeks for awhile. I am starting to seriously map the garden and yard for cole crops this fall and any transplanting that is happening at the end of the growing season. We have made some major changes in the yard this year and there are more to come. The addition of a 6 ft privacy fence this summer has been the genesis of a transformation from a center stage, weed infested patch of green to a private back yard haven with a plan and purpose. The veggie garden is going to expand next season to make room for more of what we already planted and some new cole crop things in the Spring. The bed where the water feature is finally has some perrenials that I love and if I can just keep the god-foraken vine weed out, it will be gorgeous next summer. We are moving one of the beds in the yard that currently has peonies and phlox in it. They are being relocated to other parts of the yard along the fence where they will be best showcased. The peonies are show stoppers in the late spring and the phlox are really old and need a new home. I believe my neighbor would stroke out if I actually got rid of them ("Little Lady those phlox are over 50 years old!") The bed they are in is such a random place in the middle of the yard, which eats up some valuable real estate. There are also three shade beds next to the house that I have been waiting to fill with hostas. I have so many friends and family that have GORGEOUS hostas of every variety and it is time to split all of them. I refuse to buy what I can go and dig, so the beds will be filled in a month or two. I will add some shade loving calla lillies in the spring and see how they do there.

We have local landscaping companies coming over the next week to bid the installation of a new patio that will take up more than half of my yard next spring and I am so excited to start thinking about what it will all look like, what kind of furniture is going out there, where it all needs to be placed, and all of the event possibilities out there. This has been a work in progress for years in my mind. Originally there was an awful deck on the back of the house that was tiny and a death trap if you had any heels on at all. When it was rotting and falling apart four years ago, we tore it down and discovered cement stairs and a sidewalk underneath there. Then there was the idea of a new deck. Lots of drawings and plans and then I discovered that the deck has to be 18" off the ground, blah, blah, blah. I cannot be shackled by minimum height requirements. I wanted it at ground level. Then it was the idea of concrete but it is just an ugly material. Finally this year Steven and I started talking about how much we loved flagstone as a flooring material in houses. My house is a 100 year old, city house and the flagstone inside would not work anywhere. That is when the a-ha moment came for the patio. We called and found a dealer for the flagstone, determined we could do the patio ourselves. I will pause for those of you that know me to catch your breath and wipe your eyes from the laughter of visualizing my princess ass hauling 100 pound stones or levelling the back yard with at least a 4 degree grade for drainage or carting and spreading the 4"of sand that needs to go down first or digging the trenches for the weeping drains that need to go in or...yeah...we have someone coming on Friday and another company on Monday. I am all about trucks with names on them.

Dinner last Saturday for my momma's birthday turned out great. I actually was held up at the seafood warehouse that morning because they were unloading the truck from the airport. Fresh, fresh, fresh fish. As fresh as it gets when you're land locked, anyway. The
appetizer was the biggest surprise of the evening. A crostini with gorgonzola, toasted, chopped hazelnuts, and drizzled with honey. Please go out and cook this soon. The flavors were so amazing together. Simple and clean and fabulous. The rest of the dinner was good too, but flavors that I expected. The crostini was a wonderful surprise.

The routine of going to work is settling in and once these contractors get the hell out of my office, life will be good. I am excited to think about all of the fall events planned and am taking comfort where I best know how until the next small piece of vacation heaven (c'mon Labor Day).

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