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Whatever it is … that’s what I have.


I mentioned the other day how I planted herbs this year. Well, I am glad to say that they are still somewhat alive. But then its only been a few days.

English: A clump of Allium schoenoprasum en , ...

English: A clump of Allium schoenoprasum en , commonly know as chives flowering in New Hampshire. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I got anxious about the Chive Self Watering thing that I somehow thought would fill in the failing Chive planter.  The chances of the tiny little green dot turning somehow into something transplantable was not looking too good. So I cheated and got a full pot of chives from the local farm market to put in the planter instead.

English: Flowerpot with potting soil

English: Flowerpot with potting soil (Photo credit: Wikipedia) About the size of the seven pots I used for lugging dirt today.

The purple pansies are all but dead. How can this be? They have been out in the air … far away from any Holly induced trauma. And it has been raining consistently for days now. Well, there was that frost … or two.

And who ever heard of a frost at the end of May in Pennsylvania? But I digress.

Then we come to the other plants. The ones that are supposed to go in the raised bed boxes that I was to easily put together. Two of them actually. One on either side of the walkway that extends across the front of my house. One from walkway to house. One from walkway to the grade which goes to the street. Across the entire front of my house. Oh and maybe one from house to garage for good measure.

Over ambitious a little?

I watched the DIY video and everything. Seemed easy enough. Start with 1″ x 6″ x 12′ treated lumber … drill holes … put in screws … voila. Instant raised box.

Even had them deliver a small half load of dirt … just enough to fill the boxes. Oh and I went and got 160 pounds of topsoil in 40 pound bags to go over the top, just for good measure.

Except …

Raised bed of lettuce, tomatoes, 6 different t...

Raised bed of lettuce, tomatoes, 6 different types of basil, marigolds, zinnias, garlic chives, zucchini. An American flag and a solar-powered light are also in the garden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I should be so lucky.

The longest piece of treated lumber is 12′ long. My house is more like 23′ wide. No matter … Holly gets these metal plate thingys with spikey things on the bottom to hammer a little on one board … a little on the other. Repeat on both sides and I will have 24′ of board, right? That’s what the lady in the screw department said.

I will not go for the exceedingly obvious comment … screw … lady … but suffice it to say that lots of banging and sweating and … commenting … later, I drove some nails through the things. Out of four that I tried, only one really worked.

Then, it turns out that treated lumber is not really the best thing to use for a planter. I heard that on a gardening show on the radio as I was driving to the store to get drill bits. Could that have been more perfect? Might have been good to know that a few weeks ago.

No matter … Holly forges ahead. Can’t find the drill bits? No matter … Holly goes and gets more. No screws to fit the bill? No matter … Holly goes and gets some. Can’t hold two pieces of lumber at 90 degree angles while simultaneously drilling and screwing in said three-inch screws?

Holly is getting frustrated.

So I called in the cavalry. My friend Texas Linda. The one who put together a flower box from scratch the other day.

The troops arrived … and much sweating and banging and drilling and screwing later … well more like Holly watching while Linda put the screws in … and two of the boxes were done. Somehow the idea of making a third one ranked right up there with getting a root canal.

Which brings us to today. Where our intrepid non-gardener spent a huge amount of time filling one of the raised beds … The one against the house. The good news? It is filled. The bad news? It is filled.

Do you have any idea how many … OK. I started with some large planters full of dirt left behind by an ex a few years ago. Big pots of well composted dirt. Heavy, well composted dirt. Then I used the seven large pots to lug dirt from the tarp covered pile that had been delivered back when.

Lots and lots and lots and lots of pots … filled with dirt. Heavy dirt. Then to top it all off, I lugged the 160 pounds of potting soil in 40 pound bags over to make the top of it more nutritious for the lavender and the burning bush plants.  It looks better too.

Then in true non-gardener fashion, I sat on the sidewalk to transplant the dozen lavender and twenty some burning bush plants. I’m not giving good odds on two of the lavender plants and several of the little burning bush plants.

Turning to the other side, I quickly decided that the five Holly plants needed to go there … instead of over between the house and the garage. With the spike plants … which were starting to look a bit … dead … in between the Holly.

Taking a break, I called Linda. Mentioned that I was going to go get some more potting soil. One truck trip later I was at the farm store.

I am happy to report that chivalry is not dead.

About 160 pounds into 240 pounds of topsoil and a nice man came over and loaded the last of it into the cart … and while I went inside to pay for it all, he went over with Linda to the truck and put it all in the bed of the truck.

Now, my industriousness only goes so far. I am, after all an old, old lady. Well, I felt like an old, old lady about 120 pounds into unloading the bags of potting soil.

So a few minutes ago … seeing my 30-something neighbor across the street and his 15-year-old son … his strong, young, industrious son … I walked over to them to chat … and see if his son wanted to earn some money tomorrow shoveling dirt. About five hundred pounds of it.

They said they would both be here early tomorrow morning.

Life is good.

The plants hanging on for dear life were happy to hear this. Who knew that plants could breathe a sigh of relief?