About six years ago I fell down an entire flight of stairs on Election Day and hit every one on my way down. It took me ten minutes to get up again.
And I feel like this injury is haunting me as I gradually ease myself out into the garden in this slowest spring of all springs.
Or maybe, I tell myself, it is that all of the women in my family, excepting my sister, who is freakishly strong, have always had back issues.
Or maybe, I grudgingly admit, it’s because I am not nineteen anymore and carrying a wheelbarrow full of pea gravel from one driveway across two acres to the back forty and my vegetable garden is hard work. Such hard work that I had to ration out my trips – no more than three in a day – and remind myself that it was ok to save a chore for the next week as long as it wasn’t urgent when I spent my first full weekend of 2014 outside, catching up on the garden chores.
The list was already unbearably long: re-set the raised beds in the veg garden; lay down black plastic and the aforementioned pea gravel, because this year, by gum, I am not going to spend august in a weed jungle trying to find my tomatoes; begin construction on the new hugelkutur bed along the orchard, where I have grand visions of climbing roses interspersed with different varieties of asclepias and other pollinator temptations for a half-cultivated, half-wild explosion of color.
And that’s before I deal with topping up the mulch on all of the other beds and planting the bareroot gooseberries, elderberries, and raspberries that have come in support of my quest to plant as many edibles as possible. Four new blueberry bushes found a home, mixing happily with two new blackberry specimens. And I couldn’t resist finding a space for some paw paw trees. I’m determined to underplant the entire orchard with june-bearing strawberries, and I’ve come to view the space under my weeping ornamental crabapple as nothing so much as a blank slate for my alpine strawberries.
Is it wrong that I am already nervous about getting it all done? It’s barely may and there’s already fewer than 16 weeks until Labor Day.
So it is at this point, again, that I must remind myself it is ok if a chore falls by the wayside. And it is ok to bring in professional help. The only question is – do I need a gardener or a therapist?