Friday, July 10
You may have seen our posts on our labors to get rid of the grass and turn our little strip of lawn into not-lawn. The end result was a brown (albeit somewhat contoured) strip of compost and bark atop the upturned sod. Brown. We did plant a Nootka Rose and some lemongrass, but still … lots of brown.
So, it happens I know The Lady of the Gardens. And The Lady said we should have a garden.
Last Friday, on a cool, cloudy, sometimes breezy morning, she and her Knight, Sir Spade-Wielder, drove up to our door in their white SUV chariot.
Said chariot was chock full of large and smallish rocks, and pots and pots and pots of plants. Greetings first, then the unloading. The array of 60+ pots lined the road. This must be a magic chariot (like a Tardis?) – who would have thought all those pots and rocks would fit in there!
The Lady mused for a while, absorbing the contours of the landscape, comparing it to what she had imagined.
Resolute, she donned her armor: knee pads and gardening gloves. Then she and her knight proceeded to ground the larger rocks in the appropriate places. I began to imagine a garden.
Hubby and I served as acolytes, carrying a pot here or there. After a time, more than an hour, less than two, the design was complete.
Here we took an intermission to let the garden design incubate. We enjoyed lunch and beer at the Golden Valley Brewery, in the room with the beautiful bar.
Lunch concluded, The Lady raised her fists and declared, “Let's go plant.”
After a few adjustments, moving plants a bit, swapping this and that, she was ready. We planted – or, rather, she did.
The Lady donned once more her armor, and armed herself with a digging tool and a pair of sturdy loppers. She began on the shady side, moving across the hillside on hands and knees, digging and planting. Her faithful helpers poured water on the newly planted, removed empty pots. Where underlying layers of sod required, Spade-Wielder fulfilled his duty.
Soon The Lady moved on to the sunny side, steadily digging and planting. Some incantations (“Grow, dammit, grow!) were required.
At the end of two hours, our brown mounds had been transformed into the most delightful garden. It is our charge to water daily for 10 days, and then begin tapering. The Lady selected plants that are deer resistant and don't require a lot of water, once established.
The Lady can see the result in her mind's eye. We will be pleasantly surprised, as will our neighbor, himself an Oregon Master Gardener and a landscaper of long experience.
We will see what lives, what doesn't. The watering now will help the underlying layers to compost, hopefully assisting root development.
What a priceless gift.
Me, I just walk outside a few times a day, marveling. There is a garden. And it is beautiful.
We have transplanted chives and parsley, and added some French tarragon and a variegated sage. We are looking for dwarf boxwood to round out the pointy end of the lot. I am not a gardener – but this garden I will care for with excitement and love.