Posted by: Hannah | 06/12/2010


…Or, ripping out plants to plant new plants.


Today was a true summer day; a cloudless sky / slight breeze / sunburn in ten minutes day.

This year as part of my campaign to get my ass off the couch and get moving, I am working on the yard.  I’ve basically done all I can do inside the house, so I’m moving outside.  (For now anyway, there’s a bathroom that needs re-doing and some carpet to rip out, but those are wintertime jobs, I feel.)   Anyway, I’m slowly collecting up some more powerful tools of destruction – better lawnmower, new hacksaw, gas-powered trimmer – and am trying to make the yard look a little more finished.

This afternoon’s project was digging out the flowerbed.

The bed came with the house.  It had a bunch of perennials, all shades of green.  No actual flowering plants.  Which to me, I’m sorry, but what’s the fucking point?  Green, I can get anywhere.  I mow the damn lawn every week all summer long, it grows like hell, sometimes I can HEAR the stuff growing, and it’s certainly not chartreuse.  I just can’t see the sense in going through all the work of digging up a flowerbed to then fill it with non-flowering plants.  It’s not rational.

The first summer I was here, I just left it alone.  I was pregnant, it was hot, I was unpacking 40,000 boxes by myself because Hubby couldn’t understand my desire to not live in a freakin’ warehouse and I just simply couldn’t be arsed to mess about with gardening.  It kind of grew weird green stuff along with some weeds and some interesting grasses.  Whatever.  That fall I dug some of the grass up, and planted bulbs.  Tulips, hyacinths, and some pretty lily-type thing whose name I forgot ten minutes after I tossed out the package.

The nameless things grew.  Everything else did not.

Second summer I hacked out all the weird flowerless flowers, thinking that I would dig out the bed and plant some annuals.  That never happened, either.  New baby, breastfeeding, father in law getting sicker, preschooler home all the time… it just never happened.  The end result of last year’s work was that I cleared a nice space for more weeds to grow.

Which brings me to this afternoon.  The grasses were two feet high.  There were some weird, thick-stemmed cabbagey looking things with roots on them that reached approximately to China.  There were dandelions and devil’s paintbrushes and dead stems from all the stuff I killed off last year.  And it was all growing through a thick, matted layer of yet more grass.

I weeded, and hoed, and shoveled, and cursed.  I rescued four snails, two earthworms, a butterfly, and three spiders with egg sacks attached to their bellies.  I ritualistically slaughtered four earwigs, because I have respect for all living creatures that aren’t named because they LAY THEIR EGGS IN HUMAN EARS, MY HOLY HELL.

I spent three hours in the blazing sun digging plants out of fertile, lovely soil.  So that I can plant other things in the same space.

Gardening is oddly satisfying, I’m learning.  But also a bit of a mindfuck that way.



  1. Hubby went into battle yesterday against the enormous prickly weed growing in one of our window wells. I’m pretty sure he lost. He chopped the weed to bits but had no effect whatsoever on the two-inch-diameter stem, much less the roots.

  2. I am ignoring my yard.

    and also-you won. Sending you code. 😀

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