Tuesday, April 24, 2007


While I was at the incredibly successful artisan street fair yesterday...

(successful because I got this far on the shawl…keep in mind that I knit really slowly and that there are now about 250 stitches in each row, you can figure out for yourself if I was helping customers buy all my goods)

David was busy making me a surprise…

That’s the orto (vegetable garden) that I’ve been talking about since about January. In the gray days of January I decided that this was the year that I was going to give gardening a try…again. Although most people I admire find gardening a tremendously enjoyable and rewarding activity, I’ve just never got it. But one day this winter, when I was wishing I could be outside, I decided that I was really going to try it this year. Really, this time. I would start small with a few herbs, a couple tomato plants and some chili peppers (brought to us by commenter Earle(and Mary)-in-Denver. I would commit to working the soil, planting them, watering and weeding them. They would be all my responsibility, like cleaning the bathroom and washing dishes. I imagined the feeling of making a huge vegetable salad with my own veggies (a strange salad – tomatoes, thyme, parsley, basil, tarragon and chili peppers) that in my mind would be similar to that of pulling a new hand-knit sweater over my head.

On Easter, the weather was beautiful. David, as usual in warm weather was puttering in the garden so I decided to join him. I don’t putter very well – no, that’s not right, I am physically, psychologically, emotionally and mentally unable to putter. So in a short time we laid these stones – an attempt to stop two puppies from discovering China.

And I worked the soil for my orto. Two hours of carrying heavy, very heavy stones, digging and turning soil, and a bunch of other stuff that involved pitch forks and shovels, dirty hands and even a little sweating. That was enough of that! We opened a bottle of wine and had our Easter dinner.

I haven’t really done anything out there since. Nothing. No weeding, no watering. You don’t need to weed or water if you haven’t PLANTED anything, which I hadn’t.

So David took it upon himself to provide me with another chance to ENJOY this gardening thing.
I think the key to finding pleasure in pulling weeds – weeds that you know are laughing at you because they start growing again as soon as you’ve pulled them- and all the other stuff that is involved in tending to a garden is the puttering.

Puttering is unfocused. You don’t know when or where it ends. You have to putter for a REALLY long time in order to see results. Knit two rows, you have two rows. Read or write two pages, you have two pages. Wash two dishes, you have two clean dishes. Puttering for two hours? It’s hard for me to even imagine, but this summer, with my little orto I’m going to learn. Or at least I’ll try. Honestly, I think the probability of my taking up a sport is greater than that of my learning to putter, but I’ll keep you posted, so to speak.

In other garden news…we’ve got to stop getting puppies in the spring. Maybe you remember that Ruff chewed this vine last year.

It grew back just in time for Q to eat it, along with its neighbor.

She’s an over-achiever.

Also, which has nothing to do with the garden except that you can see this whilst sitting in the garden, these

A gift from commenter friends Wayne (and Denise). It’s a bonafided house now – it’s got numbers!

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