Jun 3, 201112:17 PM

Hole Digger! That’s me.

Hole Digger! That’s me.
I’ve been playing with the idea of becoming a master gardener. “Playing with” is a deliberately chosen phrase here, because I currently have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.

About a month or so ago, I decided to spruce up the area around my backyard patio with three beautiful plants a co-worker got for me. With a hand trowel, saw, and shovel, I started a day off from work early in the morning, digging holes. Well, I should say… trying to dig holes.

That soil was so junked up with thick roots from bushes long gone, rocks, and clay that I couldn’t dig an inch without hitting something, followed by 10 minutes of sawing that something or banging it with the shovel until it popped out.

I was at that for hours, folks. Hours! And when I finished the day, I was still without holes to plant in. All I had was a bunch of exposed dead roots and pain in my legs from squatting for so long.

And that is how my “flower bed” sat for the next 3 weeks until my husband saved the day by renting a stump grinder that knocked out all of that knotted mess in about 15 minutes flat.

In the meantime, all of those beautiful plants my co-worker gave me – they died. One by one.

Good thing they were guaranteed with no questions asked!

So on a day off last week, I decided to make a go of it again. Before getting my fingers dirty, I went to the hardware store to return my faded flowers, get some back saving supplies- i.e. a hand tiller and a dump wagon—and a new batch of victims. I mean, plants. “Visions in Red Astilbe,” to be exact, which, according to the tags that came with them, are “compact, low growing perennials” with “clusters of rosy red plumes” that are “ideal as a cut flower.”


It took me five hours to get them in the ground, but this is what they looked like when I finished.

(Mine are the ones in front. My husband planted the thriving irises that make this picture decent to look at.)

It's a work in progress and I’ll keep you updated on how they are doing. But for now, let’s just say they’re looking mighty thirsty. How often am I supposed to water these things?!

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