2020-05-04 A Zone 7 Beauty Thriving in Zone 5

(Happy Star Wars Day Friends.. May the Force be with you today and always!) 😘

It’s a rainy Monday in Nebraska and my list of tasks never seems to lighten up. Instead of going there, though, and dwelling on the endless caravan of sideshow attractions, I’m gonna sit in the dirt and marvel at the earthworms that find their way to the surface.

In the last week, I’ve dug into the dirt with my favorite shovel. I twisted the big, unearthed clumps with my garden claw, and then raked it all smooth again.

Yesterday Jim and I grabbed our masks and jumped in the Jeep. We went to a local hardware store store and went our separate ways there. A half an hour later we came back together with our respective carts full of garden goodness. His was all landscape project odds and ends. Heavy stuff like bags of rocks and some pretty solar lights, cuz he’s Jim and lights are his thing. And that’s just one of the things I love about him.

My cart? Porting soil to mix in with the dirt from last years pots to prep them for annual color all season. But that was not my primary objective. Nope. This trip was all about bed #1 of 3. The one that’s dedicated to tomato’s and peppers and marigolds.

Last year was a good test of my new space. I had too many tomato’s and peppers so this year I have Dialed it back to 3 regular tomato plants- better boy, big beef, and celebrity. Two different variety of bell peppers, and one Anaheim (I’ll have to find the Anaheim somewhere else cuz they didn’t have those. The marigolds are to ring the border of that garden and that’s my tradition.

Yesterday I only got as far as planting the veg I bought. The flowers will have to wait till one day this week. And it won’t be today because lots of rain and lots of work to do.

I’m definitely in my happy place In the garden. It’s sometimes painful work, turning dirt and bending over and being on my knees, making things just so. But it’s so satisfying. And I think being alone for a little bit is great for my mental health. Somehow I’m able to shut off all the voices in my head that are urging me to do this or that.

I’m able to forget about the website work that needs to be done or the issues with the new design or the dirty dishes or the un-vacuumed floor or some seeder data that’s going to need to be loaded into the dev database for testing. It all melts into some place in the corners of my mind and I am able to focus on how I’m shaping the mounds of dirt around me new little babies.

This one likes “wet” feet and that one likes well drained soil. They have different needs just like people and as long as you know how to treat them, they will thrive and be happy. Some plants are “hardy”. This means they can tolerate too wet, hot, dry, or cold conditions (to a certain point). They don’t need as much tending cuz they will be all right.

If I were to tag myself with some characteristics, I would say that I’m hardy but prefer Zone 7. I mean, my life was just meant to be in Zone 5, and now I’m putting down even more roots. I can tolerate a lot. I’m low maintenance and mostly just want a good balance of being left alone and having great conversations with people I love. Like a Stella Daylily. Coming back time and time again regardless of the care or feeding I’ve had. Always reaching for the sun.

Yellow has never been my color though, so perhaps some orange variety or the tiger lily, spots of freckles in view when I’m happily in bloom. And so it goes.

The best thing about the hard work I put in to my garden is the times I can just walk back there and look at it and know that I did that with my two hands. I tend the plants and I they do the only thing they know how to do, which is live and grow. And then.. on one magical day in July or August, I’ll be able to pluck some tomato or cucumber or cauliflower or pinch off a head of dill or some cilantro before it flowers and Make something delicious to eat. Or, in the case of my cherry tomatoes, pop them right into my mouth right there in the garden. Glorious.

All right. That’s enough garden talk for now. Ive got to get down to other business. All those melted away things are starting to creep back from the corners and taking shape again behind my eyes. Mondays. 🤷‍♀️

No rest for the wicked,
~Miss SugarCookie

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