The Earth Moved

I have mud on my knees and dirt in my hair, but I also have a rose bed-in-progress in the back garden. Oddly enough, those three things are related.Perhaps you have heard me speak of how cold and long this past winter was in my neck of the woods. Yes, my jaunt to London/Brussels/Reims offered a delightful taste of Spring in March but upon returning home I was thrust back into veritable Hibernation. It was in these days that I developed the fiercest of loves for roses. It was not long thereafter that I Promised Me A Rose Garden.Fast forward a month-and-a-half to the present and you will find me with no less than five of the rosy little darlings (three Floribundas and two precious David Austins) snuggled up in the sunroom but longing to stretch their roots out in a proper garden -- that doesn't exist yet. Oh, it exists in potentia, it's just that at present it's covered by sod. This is where the digging comes in.This is the part of the show that finds me on my hands and knees hacking cathartically (read: viciously) at the turf with my beloved Ho-Mi -- a smallish handplow of Bronze Age Korean origin that can move mountains (eventually, I suppose.) "No, thank you," I say to the nice lady from the building out back who stops by to offer me a better shovel, "I'm fine." And I am. Back to it -- Hack, hack, hack.With each stroke the Ho-Mi bites into the turf. Slowly -- and with effort -- the top layer of sod rolls up like a carpet and peels away from the yellow-grey clay beneath. Right now I could kick whoever decided to put SW Ontario on top of this clumpy, clammy, unforgiving stuff. I silently curse both geology and the settlers of New France. Living on the bottom of an ancient ocean is nowhere near as cool as it sounds.The work grows easier with time. In the process I forget myself and lapse into all those (I like to think charming, but I could be wrong) habits that I have -- talking to insects, apologizing to plants, chatting up the kitties that wander down the walk. I half-wonder what the neighbours must think, and then quickly forget all about it.I always lose track of time when working out here. When I pop back in the house for a glass of water I am always shocked at how much time has gone by. I don't mind too much -- it feels wonderful to get my hands dirty.Back outside, back to work. I begin to sing. I can't help this as much as I can't help telling the worms I meet how much they're going to like living in my vegetable bed. Over time I've noticed that two songs in particular float to the surface while I'm gardening: Snowbird's Where Foxes Hide and The Real Tuesday Weld's Daisies. I'm sure the neighbours are terribly impressed now.It doesn't matter, really -- they don't have to be madly in love with me. I just hope that they enjoy the garden as much as I do.

9 comments:

Voie de Vie said...

Well, I'll look forward to the roses ... but the tulips are rather awesome. :)

B said...

At the last place I lived, I had a rose garden. I had to leave it behind when I moved, and I've been hankering after it ever since. I have hopes that maybe later this summer, when things settle down a little (we're in the throes of planning multiple family weddings) I might be able to prepare another one, but in the meantime I'll have to be content to enjoy yours!

Bonnie said...

Hooray for you! That's wonderful! I had a soil test done last year, and they let me pick three things I'd like to plant, and they they'd report on those three things. When I said roses, I received the automated equivalent of, "There's no way in hell your yard will support roses." Hope you have much, much more luck!

tamara said...

There's really nothing quite as heady as the smell of freshly turned earth after months of hibernating indoors...sun on one's cheeks, dirt under one's nails, birdsong in one's ears, and a smile on one's lips...ahhhh, Spring!

Irene Kristin said...

Reading about your gardening makes me kind of homesick for my own garden. I'm looking forward to being "reunited" with it in August. :-) For the beeing I'm stuck in the library - looking out on the scottish spring, and listening (trying not to sing along too loudly) to Daisies. Happy gardening!

Mary Burke said...

What kind are your roses? I have three floribundas as well - "The Fairy" (x 2) and a white just like her called "Alba Meidiland". The blooms are tiny (smaller than a loonie!) but very, very bountiful. Good luck with your rose garden - I love mine!

Val said...

Can you tell me what kind of flowers the white ones are..they are hanging their faces down a bit..they are lovely as are the rest of the spring flowers...

Nina said...

Love the promise of the rose garden! We live in coastal Maine and I decided to do it the easy way and plant rosa rugosas along the house. Cheaters rose bushes, but awfully pretty and they smell great also!

spillyjane said...

Val - The white flowers are Leucojum, commonly known as Spring/Summer Snowflakes.You can read more about them here.

I had never heard about them myself until I took up residence here - they came with the house. I am glad that they did.