On the days when my kids are driving me absolutely nuts, I escape to my garden.
You know how kids are… There are some days when you’d rather stab yourself in the eye than hear ‘Muuuuuuuuum!’ one more time. Days when your two year old screams at you from the moment she wakes up until lunchtime, for no particular discernible reason except that she can. Days when the sound of them fighting, again, just the second you walk out of the room, literally gives you a tight knot in your diaphragm and you wonder how you will ever do another few years of this.
And that’s when my garden calls, with it’s lush coolness. There is always something to be done out here, and it moves at its own pace– weeds to be pulled, potted plants that must be moved. My entire veggie garden had been attacked by my chickens and I have big plans for an extension and a chicken proof fence. I managed to yield a crop of exactly one ear of corn this summer.
|The single cob of corn I grew.. but isn’t it lovely?|
But Ethel and Lucy are two happy, brazen chooks. Who now follow me around the yard hoping for cuddles or food scraps. One of them is having some serious hormonal issues and laying massive eggs which, as Twitter predicted, are all double yolkers.
|Happy lucky double yolk egg|
Yesterday was one of those days, spent in my garden while my children yelled at each other, themselves, at least unfortunate cat, and me. An hour past bedtime and the Bump is screaming again. For no other reason than she can.
The only drawback is I can’t work in my garden at night.
As well as Tony’s bonsai, my Man and I owned a scatter of other potted plants– among them, a fire spear that has doubled in size in the five years since we bought it; two fig trees, skinny but as tall as me, cloned from his bonsai but allowed to grow full size; and a frangipani in a pot he bought me on the anniversary of our first year as a couple.
They’ve been dragged with us from Paradise and back again, surviving an up-mountain haul in a truck, the salty cold of the coastal winner and the wettest summer Sydney has seen in 50 years. And all more by good luck than good management– apart from watering them and hitting them with a dose of worm wee from the worm farm every now and then, I’ve ignored them.
Yesterday I repotted the two figs– I have plans for those, and I’ll keep you posted– and the fire spear, which currently has not only a spear but seed pods as well. All three were badly root bound, their nervous system squashed so much there was very little soil left- just massive balls of snarled roots like fibrous tendons, worms crawling between them.
Within loving care I break up the root balls, cut them back, soak them in worm tea filled with nutrients. I plant them in fresh, damp soil and water them liberally. I say a tiny prayer to the god of small things and smile at my husband in the sky.
I don’t know why I care so much about these stupid plants, whether they survive or not… it’s not as if he’ll ever be back to check on them. But they feel fragile and delicate and seemed to sigh with relief as I removed them from their plastic cells.
It’s that need to nurture, to grow, to make something healthy… again, trying to save things now, where I couldn’t Before.