So, historically speaking, I’ve never had much of a green thumb. It’s not that the stuff I planted met an inevitable death, it’s just that I didn’t really have a reason to plant anything so I didn’t have the first clue what was involved. Until recently, we always lived in a condo or townhome where SOMEONE ELSE was responsible for the landscaping.
And, in all honesty, gardening didn’t really appeal to me. Don’t get me wrong – I liked pretty flowers and plants, but I didn’t really have much of an interest in learning what things were or what you were supposed to do to them. In fact, I would cop a major attitude when I was a kid if I had to accompany my green-thumbed mom to a nursery. I couldn’t think of anything more BORING or WORTHLESS than looking at, er, plants.
Well, a little more than a year ago, we moved into our new house. And, for the first time ever, we had a LAWN that needed to be MOWED and FERTILIZED and DE-WEEDED and we had FLOWER BEDS that needed FLOWERS (!!!) and TREES and BUSHES that needed PRUNING (?!?!?). We didn’t know what the heck we were doing. It was pretty pathetic.
But, alas, we purchased and read (and read again!) a handy book on gardening and another one with detailed instructions on caring for a lawn. And, a year or so into this, I think we’re finally starting to get the hang of it. There was definitely some trial and error involved, and some undeniable bumps in the road along the way. For example, last spring, I decided that I was going to prune our crape myrtle. I’d never pruned a crape myrtle before but did my due diligence with that handy gardening book and the trusty internet. I felt I was up to the task, so I ventured out into the front yard with my gardening gloves, my pruning shears, and a ladder. Well, let’s just say that things did not go as planned. The whole ordeal resulted in a brutal BLACK EYE. Seriously. Not cool. And totally embarassing.
My husband is our C.L.O. (“Chief Lawn Officer”), a responsibility that he takes VERY (!!!) seriously. He has all sorts of lawn-maintenance acoutrements (I think the blower is his personal favorite, although he definitely rocks our fertilizer spreader like no one’s business). He has BAGS and BAGS of fertilizers and weed killers and seed. I definitely give him a hard time (because that’s my job, right?) about the OBSESSIVENESS – and COMPULSIVENESS, for that matter – with which he has tackled his lawn care responsibilities. But, I have to admit that he’s done quite an admirable job and our (HIS!!!) lawn is looking pretty darn good these days. A+, babe.
In an attempt to pull my own weight, I’ve taken on responsibility for the flowers and plants. And so, last weekend, I hit our favorite little local nursery for some flowers and did a little fall planting. Check out some of my handy work:
In this photo, you can see the PURPLE (!!!!) asters I planted and some flowering kale/cabbage. Yes, flowering kale/cabbage. Until about a year ago, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as flowering kale/cabbage and that it was something that you might contemplate planting in your yard. But, I noticed a house on the way to the kids’ day care last year that had a bunch of cabbage-looking stuff in the yard that held up and looked really nice through much of the winter. So, I googled (which is what I do!) and discovered what it was and that it was PERFECTLY NORMAL to plant it in your yard. So, I got me some. And I like it! I also planted some white mums in an area by our front door, which you can’t see in the photo.
We definitely have more to do next weekend. There’s a few spots in the flower beds that are still looking a bit bare and are calling out for SOMETHING. And we need to do some mulching. And I want to get some tulip bulbs planted for next spring. AND we have quite a bit of maintenance and pruning to do. I just hope I can avoid another black eye…