I Am A Dirty Girl

A columbine that has a new home in our yard.

Gardening is about as interesting as watching golf (which is akin to watching paint dry), which is why, I suppose, that I ended up with a half of a whiskey barrel “planter” buried in our backyard for nearly a year. I greatly disdain any sort of yard work. It’s tedious. It’s messy. It involves bugs. And, in the end, stuff you plant and pour hours of time into will just wither and leave you with a stark, white landscape in winter anyway. Bah humbug.

A thought occurred to me recently. Perhaps hubby planted that barrel in the yard to persuade me he should not be trusted with the landscaping. There are two ways to get a woman to do anything: 1) to do it the wrong way or 2) to make her think it’s what she really wants. Steve must be a genius because with that horrific barrel he convinced me that he is incapable of making wise decisions in the yard when left to his own devices and he somehow got me outside willingly working in the yard without him. Check hell because it might have frozen over.

Yesterday, I moved rock so I could find the spots where a drip system is already in place for planting. With a little investment of my time, I found five such spots. Today I drove to a locally owned nursery to begin the correction process. I perused the aisles of plants and selected ones that seemed right for their new homes. With soil, new plants, and garden gloves in hand, this afternoon I started the arduous task of giving our yard a face lift. Somewhat miraculously, I enjoyed it. I even purposely picked up a couple worms (with gloves on because they are still gross) and examined them carefully, just to prove I could do it.  I think I might understand now what people see in gardening as a hobby. There is something peaceful there. It is slow, methodical, quiet, and life-affirming. In our backyard with the meadowlark’s song trilling through the air and the smell of the grass becoming green, I was able to live in the present for a few, very zen moments. And, when it was all done, I was able to step back, see what I had accomplished, and feel truly good about giving something back to the earth in my own miniscule way.

It’s highly unlikely that today’s experience will foster a new hobby for me. I am perfectly well aware that the dreaded wolf spider makes its home in our yard, and that is enough to keep me from digging around too much. But at least my attempt at gardening taught me that on occasion it’s good to get outside and get my hands (or at least my gloves) messy. I guess I’m something of a dirty girl after all.

“I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.” ~Gerry Spence


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