How did it get to be October? How did it get to be nearly the MIDDLE of October? I'm not sure, but here I am. And the arrival of the box of flower bulbs that I ordered in the spring jolted me into the realization that these crisp days, chilly nights, and marching band practices in the distance (I live close enough to the high school to hear) are numbered.
I don't really have time for anything other than paint scraping right now, but I still welcomed the sight of the cardboard shipping box on the porch. It meant digging in the dirt.
There's a scene in C.S. Lewis' book Prince Caspian, where the Tree People of Narnia eat different kinds of earth for a feast.
I think of it every time I'm gardening, because that is what soil looks like to me-- delicious, chocolatey, rich. Here in my home state we're blessed with dark topsoil and I've never taken it for granted. And even though I'd never be foolish enough eat dirt (not since toddlerhood anyway) and it smells nothing like chocolate, it is one of the best smells under the heavens. There's also some science behind why digging in the dirt makes me feel better. It really is an antidepressant (check this link).
Some gardening books advise digging one small deep hole for each bulb, but that way insanity lies. I dig large shallow trenches to put in masses of bulbs all at once. It's more digging overall, but less time spent.
If anyone wants to know, I order my bulbs from John Scheepers. They are not the cheapest bulb company out there. They are far from the most expensive. But their stuff is really good quality and I've always had really good results and healthy plants from their bulb stock.
Those are some miniature daffodils going in the ground. I'm also adding some scilla into the mix.
Here is the garden bed all put together, with a few starts of lamb's ear that I'd like to grow as a border.
It's a lot of work with the spade, but in the spring I get the reward:
|Wikimedia Commons image|
|Wikimedia Creative Commons image, by Magnus Manske|
Since the photo above was taken, I've gotten the "square" behind the ladder and between the windows done, and will finish the side up to four clapboards above the first-floor windows. Then I'll sand, caulk, and paint. If I run out of warm weather, I'm done. If I have warm days into November (which sometimes happens) I'll do small patches one at a time up into the gable end, as I can.
The siding is in much worse shape on this side:
Once I get it done, the rest of the sides of the house are in much, much better shape. I'm getting the hard part done first. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.
I'm ready to wrap up the exterior painting season so I can move inside and do something else for a change. At this point, even housework seems appealing!