This weekend Spring finally arrived at Number 26. And so, as planned, Saturday turned out to be a garden day. Chris continued with his “man against tree” endeavour, and I had my sights on turning over the soil, skimming off all the loose sticks and garden rubbish (bricks, plastic rods, flower labels, random bits of wire…) with my trusty rake and bagging them up to be taken to the tip.
My frustrations with the garden had been mounting. I love the garden, or the potential of the garden, in some ways more than the house as it is the one place I can visualize what it could look like. The last couple of sessions that I’ve had in the garden have felt like I’ve just been moving piles of sticks from one side to the other. I wasn’t making any progress. So this time I decided to work on one small area at a time and start putting the stuff into bags. These can then be easily disposed of. And this, I think, is working. Yesterday I cleared about 1/3 of the loose sticks and at the end of the day I could look with satisfaction at the neat brown rectangle of fresh soil that had appeared out of the chaos (and the large pile of bin bags that appeared near our patio).
There is something immensely satisfying about working in the garden. It’s a work out, but it’s more than that, I feel like I’m connecting with the land. Creating something somehow. With my hands, my whole body, getting covered in dirt, pulling up worms, despite this being the first real time in my life I’ve properly attempted any kind of gardening, I feel like I’m a child again when in the garden.
Treasure-hunting. Uncovering a lost garden. We’re still digging up and discovering weird and wonderful things. Yesterday as I was raking my patch of soil a huge pregnant frog jumped out from under the spikes and hopped away. I screamed.
I saw our first bumblebee of the year. A huge thing, skittering around on the wind, on its drunken flight path to a sweet snow drop.
And Chris dug up a tortoise.
As you do.
It was buried deep amongst the gnarly roots of the tree.
More digging today, hopefully, if our aching bodies will allow it. More soil to dig, more roots to wrestle with, and I wonder what else lies beneath…