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The Sophomore Gardener

For the second Spring in a row, I am out in my yard, digging in the soil. At one with nature. Yanking weeds up by their roots heh heh heh.

I’ve resisted the idea of a staycation because I fear I would sit on my couch for eight days and nights and never get out of my pajamas or even take a shower.

But I can now remind myself that that might have been OLD Kalisa. NEW Kalisa can ABSOLUTELY spend a week at home just killing it.

And in spite of the fact that I've been a "fall" through-and-through my whole life, it's possible that going blonde has turned me into more of a … Spring.

The weather was gorgeous - low 80s midday and low humidity - all week (until yesterday). I worked out in the yard every day, except Saturday when it stormed all day.

Now here's the Season 1 Recap, in case you need it: My front beds were filled with about six years of dead leaves and not a single pruning. I began raking all that out, pulling weeds, pruning everything. I planted honeysuckle on the front fence last fall and it is spreading rather well. I'll probably plant four more in November.

Now here’s some of what I did this week:

Replanted a big double-azalea from the backyard to the front bed. Unfortunately, because of the way it was elevated in the back yard, many of the branches were growing down and had to be trimmed.

I believe once this one takes root and fills out I will eventually have one very full azalea in bloom. The two bushes in front are mini gardenias.

I replanted those two big shiny-leaved plants that I almost killed by bringing inside, in front of the oak at the corner where the walking path meets the driveway.

I unearthed and dug up hundreds of pounds of gardening stones that were literally tiled under six inches of topsoil and leaves. WTF Chip Hyman?

I tore apart four rotted wood “barrel” planters and replanted the plants into the soil. Two are pictured above. The hibiscus (Rose of Sharon) is a little hard to see; it's being supported with that brace.

I hand-tilled the shaded dirt patches by the fence next to the wooded lot and planted red clover. Hoping to bring in the pollinators! And yes, I know it might eventually take over my yard and no, I don't care. It's good for the environment.

I trimmed the gardenias & other bushes - two pictured above - (including the branches that didn't survive the hard freeze) so they will continue to fill out. I didn't cut any with blooms though.

I trimmed those bushes that line the front porch (both sides). I don't know what they are, but they get out of control real quick.

My compost probably won't be ready this season, so I bought some cow manure compost and put it around my flowering honeysuckle, gardenias and hydrangeas. Just for a little extra oomph.

I took the dirt from the pots I busted up and laid it around the plants in that little circular section (I need to think of how I'm going to call that) to build that up. I realize the proper thing to do would have been to dig holes for those two plants but around here, you get about 8 inches down and you're into hard clay and my spaghetti arms can go no further.

Then I replaced some of the gardening stones. Once the soil in that area settles and flattens out the stones will sit flat.

I put the larger of the rest of the stones in a wheel barrow and stacked them up by the sideporch door. The bricks I kicked out of the way so the walkway was clear because I not longer had working capacity of my leg or arm muscles.

I filled the big trash bin with clippings, rakings, weeds and garden trash TWICE.

It was a fantastic week.


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