Archive for April, 2015

2015 Gardening – The Front

April 21, 2015 Leave a comment

I’m not really a fan of winter, or cold.  That means that my fall garden maintenance consists of “rake it all into the garden plot and let it act as mulch”, then I clear out the gardens in the spring.  Similarly, all of my pruning gets done in the spring.  Probably not the healthiest for the trees that need it, but since I didn’t plant any of those (nor would I have chosen them to plant to begin with), I’m not overly attached to them.  All of this means that I have two big housekeeping tasks before I can do anything with my gardens.: raking (and bagging), and pruning (and bagging).  Six leaf bags later, and we have ther front yard almost presentable and the backyard halfway there (though we may end up leaving some of the old leaves there for further mulching or fill for the interlock hole).

The past couple of years have seen a slow overhaul of the gardens in both my front yard and back yard.  The previous owners were big fans of decorative perennials, and seemed to be oriented towards stuff that was showiest in the fall (at least in the front).  I’m a big fan of growing some food (not even remotely close to be self-sufficient, but at least some tomatoes and herbs), and my taste in decorative plants is a little different as well.

Every year, I dig up a bit more of what we started with.  This year’s attack focused on the front garden.  I’d removed a couple of the smaller shrubberies/plants last year, but didn’t succeed with any planting efforts.  This year I attacked the remaining smaller plants, leaving just the 2-story magnolia, the 6′ conical conifer, and some lilacs, hydrangeas, and lilies around the side of the plot.  Two of the three major excavations came out nicely (the nice thing about attacking them in the\ spring with fresh, saturated dirt).  The third inspired the chorus to a country song:

[You got] roots so dep I broke my shovel,

Tryn’a git yew out…

I did indeed break the shaft of my nice heavy-duty garden shovel.  By that point the demon-plant was half gone though, so I wasn’t about to let it win.  Out came the trowel.  I dug deep, excavated as much loose dirt as I could, and pulled each root out individually as I found them.  Not my idea of fun, but the battle is done for now.  This year the plan is to let the front garden grow, see what comes up, and remove anything I don’t want as it comes up.  I have no idea how persistent any of these things are, or if I need to worry about deep/dormant roots resurrecting the beasts.

No photos of the front yet (forgot to take them as I was working this past weekend), but I’ll try to remember to add one later.

Categories: Uncategorized

Spring Renewal

April 20, 2015 Leave a comment

I’m going through a phase of renewed interests.  I’m getting excited about sewing, gardening, reading, writing, volunteering, cycling, and generally “doing”.  This often happens to me this time of year – the weather is finally becoming hospitable, and I get to see sunlight more than just on my way to the water cooler at work.  Most years I can keep it going for a few weeks, and then collapse into bad habits and apathy when I cycle back to a depressive state or hit a bad sleep phase, or some combination of the two.

Depression sucks.  I am fortunate that mine is mild – I tend to run towards extreme apathy, moderate irritability, and antisociability.  It’s tolerable, but not fun – for me or for those I live with.  A year or so ago I got tired of tolerating it.  I was tired of being tired and grumpy, and I missed caring about things.  For years I’d fantasized late in bed at night on how to start the conversation with my spouse, but never pulled together the strength to say anything when he was awake.  What finally made me say something was, of all things, a comic strip (linked below).  It explained things in a way that I couldn’t, so I send C the link and had him read it.  That led to a really good conversation about the cyclic nature of it, and how the irrational fear of judgment against depression had been an influence in my suppressing the need to get help.  A few weeks later I made it to the doctor to discuss it.  I started medication fairly quickly after that, and it had a big effect.  I suddenly felt things other than irritation.  I wouldn’t say I became “happy” necessarily, but I was feeling something, which was a big improvement.

The major drawback to the medication I take is that it has really screwed with my sleep cycle.  That’s not new – I’ve struggled with insomnia since at least primary school – but I find it painfully amusing that the best sleep of my life has also been during my worst depression.

So what’s different about this year’s spark of interest?  Noting as far as I can tell.  My kids are a little older and my job is a little closer to home, but I remain on someone else’s clock 15 hours a day.  I’m hoping to do better, of course, but I’m trying to stay realistic this time.  And I’m going to try to keep things up here as well, but make no promises.  It’ll probably be the first thing to go.

Categories: Uncategorized