Stumped

Whoever said gardening is easy (and I believe it was me) has never done it (true). Jesus. I haven’t sweated this much since Bikram yoga class.

My daughter and I have been working on the lower left terrace all week. (OK, really, I have. Myra-Jean has been mostly moving piles of dirt from one spot to another. Consider it moral support.) At any rate, “we” managed to get nearly all of the paperwhites out and one of the two rose bushes. Today, when I sallied forth to work on the area alone during MJ’s nap time, it looked ike this:

See that little bush in the far corner? Well, all that remained was to pull that out! Then we could start planting! (I went to San Gabriel Nursery yesterday and splurged on a bunch of stuff. I have no idea what any of it is, but it’s going in). This part was going to be a breeze.

Unfortunately, the object of my efforts turned out to be far more stubborn than I expected, clinging to life like someone’s rich, stingy grandmother. Getting the top part off was easy, but the stump went down far deeper than I would’ve thought. At first I worked on it with the shovel, but for most of my attempt I had to resort to hand to hand combat using my spade. (Space in the bowels of the earth turns out to be limited.) I also discovered that our soil is clay. I mean, ALL clay. It occurred to me as I scooped at it pathetically, one wet, labor-intensive tablespoon at a time, that I should have taken up potting — not gardening — when we moved in.

Oh, and of course — because this is how I roll —  it was high noon on a warm day when I started working. Bring on the heatstroke!

After an hour I managed to get the thing out. It felt a lot like giving birth: the outcome was worth all the effort, but there was a lot of screaming at the end.

Boy or girl , you decide...

The planting will have to wait for another day. For now, I think I’ve thrown my back out.

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