Friday, August 30, 2019

Digging holes... by Cathy Ace

What did you do this summer? Did you take a break from writing? Continue to write while you were on vacation? Change your writing habits at all?

What did I do this summer? No writing at all. Plotting, yes. Outlining, yes. Writing, no. (Other than blogs, articles, interviews etc., that is.)

What did I do instead? I planted. Well, Husband and I planted. Well, OK then, Husband dug big holes in the spots I picked out, and I sort of whined and criticized as he placed plants into said holes. In my defence I also brought trailers of soil, plus all the associated bone meal/feeds, mulch and water to the planting every good “helper” does. 

Not dressed for being helpful!

It doesn’t sound like much. But we have poor, clay-based soil in many parts of our property, so each hole can become a nightmare to dig, has to be two or three times the size of the pot from which the plant is being taken (some holes have been a few feet deep and wide), and we’ve repeated this process with more than a hundred plants. (Good-sized maples, ornamental evergreens, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, forsythias, hostas, hibiscus, pots of canna lilies and tender hibiscus, and planting out our perennial seedlings of rudbekia, lavatera and the annual petunias, nasturtium and marigolds…for the gardeners amongst you.) 

It’s been a LOT of work. Then there’s the watering, of course…and our well ran dry at the beginning of July. So…lots of water trucks delivering water. And lots of hosepipes.

It’s been a BIG planting year, and next year will be too. Why all this activity? Well, we’re pretty serious gardeners (OK, like all gardeners, we’re addicted – and we have five acres with which to indulge our addiction) and a good friend of ours died last year; he’d begged us to save the plants from his commercial-sized greenhouses, which we did. We over-wintered them in pots in a safe spot, and are now doing our best to get what we can into the ground, where it will be happiest. It’s a mammoth undertaking. In April this year I counted around 350 pots. We’re down to something over 200 left. Still a long way to go. 
Our friend David, who died last year, having given us hundreds of plants

The task continues – and we do love the end results. Even though we’ll have to wait until next year to see the blooms on the shrubs, and it will take many years for the maples to create the sort of canopy we’re aiming for, we can be patient (not that it’s easy!). Sorry the photos aren’t full of dazzling blooms or spectacular foliage – you’ll have to use your imagination, as we are!

Hopefully my next novel will bloom into something you’ll enjoy reading next year, too!

If you'd like to read some of my work to date, you can click here.

1 comment:

Karen in Ohio said...

Cathy, what a great gift, all those plants! And just think, neither of you will need a gym membership for awhile. :-)

We just built a new home, and I'm also in the process of landscaping a scraped-bare two acres of yard. It's a daunting challenge, isn't it? Just deciding where it all goes is a huge hurdle, let alone all the work involved.

Best of luck. I hope to see photos of the results!