Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Outdoor stories

I've been getting so much done this week. Outside. I'm adhering to last week's make myself sore until I can't do anything but sit strategy, and it feels great. 

I went for a walk around an old cemetery, and then around my neighbors' back forty (they aren't back from Florida yet) with a sharp knife and a jar of water. Though I really like how these clippings look in the dining room, the ultimate goal is more pragmatic. I need shrubs. A lot of shrubs. I'm talking native plants and things that have edible fruit and things that attract wildlife, and also some things that have fearsome thorns and will hopefully keep the deer out of the orchard when planted in a hedge. These are not the kinds of things you can walk down to your garden center and buy. I wanted dogwoods and viburnums and hawthorns, and a few pieces of that glorious weeping mulberry up at the cemetery. I took clippings-- the innocent thievery of genetic material; a huge investment in time and patience and care. In a few weeks they'll start to root out in the water, then after a time I can pot them, overwinter them in the to-be-constructed greenhouse, and plant them next spring. I imagine. I'll keep you posted.

I laid more brick. I'm down to my last 27 in a tidy little heap, and I need to find a new source for more. I didn't tell you, did I, that I went back to my salvage site a few weeks back and they'd fenced it? Well, yeah. Was bound to happen, but still made me depressed. In a perfect world all useful raw materials would get claimed by resourceful folks, and reused, and given the respectful honor of being enjoyed the rest of their useful lives. I'm not fretting, though. My neighbor Jody has offered to "put in a call" to a well-connected friend who might know of some brick to be had. 

Yesterday I was pretty heavily invested in a wrestling match with an extremely tenacious and deeply-rooted forsythia tangle, when my neighbor Olie drove up. She'd helped me unload my truckful of lumber (for the fence) weeks back, hoisting 30-lb boards up over her head into the pile on the side of the driveway. I'd baked her muffins. When someone who haven't met yet ties her dog to your porch so she can come help you unload lumber, you bake. Now she was back, opening a trunk full of recently divided perennials and offering me peonies, chives, grape hyacinth, lady's mantle. Gold mine.

"You don't want any forsythia, do you?" I asked. As a matter of fact, she'd just been talking about wanting some. As a matter of fact. I sent her home with three "satellite"-sized forsythia, while I resumed my battle with the mother ship. The plants she gave me were huge; I was so grateful I had something to offer in trade, and that it was something she wanted for herself. 

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Becky said...

Wow - you did score! What a wonderful neighbor!

Julia said...

I envy you your energy and your beautiful life! I love reading your blog :)

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