Haircuts and Hydrangeas

May 30, 2010

Catmint falling everywhere, blooms fading and stems getting messy, hairy and wild. Chives getting taller, scraggly and blooms blowing past their prime. Salvia blooms drying out, stems collapsing and spreading on the ground. Time for haircuts!

Sunday I read the funnies, had wheat toast with lemon curd and tea, threw on my gardening shoes and climbed into the garage attic. Yes, I do spend alot of time in the garage attic. The long tomato stakes were up there, and that’s exactly what I needed to make my rabbit fence happen. Also grabbed the other soaker hose.

I laid all the panels out on the ground, with corners touching, just as they would be standing up. They had to be precise as the stakes needed to be placed correctly so there are no gaps for the Damn Rabbits to take advantage of when it’s assembled. The stakes were sited at the intersection of these corners.

Dominic unfurled the soaker hose so it wouldn’t curl up when we laid it in the garden. It was certainly hot enough to make anything lay straight very quickly.

Using a hammer (because Dominic couldn’t find the mallet – it’s been on the garage floor for literally months and now that it’s put away, no one knows where it is – sighhhhhh…), I pounded the first stake in about 18″deep. I then marked another stake and used that as a guide, so they would all be about the same height in the ground.

And then I had an out-of-body experience. The Invisible Neighbor behind us came out of her backdoor, shouted hello and then came to the bottom of her yard to have a visit. It was so intensely hot and sticky that I thought for a moment I had fainted and was hallucinating. We have lived here 10 years and she has never so much as waved to me before and I could literally count on one hand the times I have seen her in the yard. Tony later said he’s met her once, years ago. She was perfectly chatty, friendly and personable, telling me she was really amazed at the veggie garden and how I’ve managed to avoid the rabbits. She has two trees. That’s all. Just lawn and two trees. Not even a shrub around the foundation. She asked my advice on landscaping under the corner tree. I could hear the Twilight Zone theme playing. She then said it was just too hot (and it really was) and went back into her house. I had to take a break, have some lemonade and consider how I’ve never met this neighbor before and how it was at the filthiest possible moment in my life. (okay, maybe when I spilled the rotting compost tea all down my front I was a little worse. That smelled like vomit.) Sweat shorts, dirty T-shirt, no makeup, hair sweaty, gritty and totally smashed under my straw sun hat, and I probably smelled. One look (and whiff) of me and I’m sure her decision to never garden was solidified.

Wire clothes hangers (WIRE HANGERS?!) were the perfect weight and flexibility, so Dominic cut those into the correct lengths. The panels were stood upright and we wired them one by one to the stakes. This is a great method, as by removing just 4 wire hooks, the panel is gone and you can easily access the garden.

Before the panels were completely attached, I took the soaker hose and threaded it through the garden, pulled open a hole in the chicken wire, stuck the threads thru, attached a hose coupling and then squeezed the hole closed. Now, I can attach the rain barrel or faucet to the hose and just let it rip.

After the panels were assembled, I trimmed back all the catmint, salvia and

chives and pulled weeds.

Tony came home from golf when I was laying on the hammock, still one of the great unwashed.

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