Greetings from today's guest blogger: Jeff Stone, AKA Old Stone, or simply Julie's Husband.
As the title says, I did my first ever solo planting project today! Normally planting is not my arena. As I'm sure you have guessed, I am really more the super-hero type. Tough as a two dollar steak, 5'10" and 145pounds (soaking wet) of twisted steel. Kind of a Daniel Craig-young Brad Pitt sort of thing. My days are usually filled doing battle against non-native invasives, tree pruning, log splitting, cursing poison ivy and digging holes in our nearly solid slate yard for Julie to plant trees. Like I said, He-Man super-hero stuff.
Well, Julie had recently found a great healthy batch of Common Milkweed (commonus milkweedus) at a local plant purveyor but was hesitant to buy any due to the recent heatwave. Super-hero that I am, I purchased said butterfly attractants and decided to plant them quickly and easily as a surprise!
This morning I finished my watering and looked nervously at the 6 quart-pots. Confidence began to wane quickly. Sure, men women and children the world over do this, so could I...right? I had planned my work, established practical planting vorticies, solved for X. I put trowel to soil. Three inches in and I hit an electrical cable. Should I have called Miss Utility??? I backed-off and started again. Soil flew, sweat poured, nerves frayed. One down. More soil airborne more sweat and there were 2. Ditto ditto and 50 minutes had passed but there were three plants in the soil. Felt like I could use a shower but I pressed-on.
As I stood to inspect my work the horror set-in. They were not even close to where I had intended to plant them! Too close to the edge, crooked and planted so deep I could hardly see the tops of the greenery!! I was crestfallen but with the underground wire I didn't know how to solve the situation. Clock ticking must keep going. The remaining three were to go in a bed approximately 8"x30". Dig dig, root, rock, Gatorade, plant plant plant. Not quite as deep as the first three but I had now displaced enough soil to bury a '56 Buick. A bit of mulch and a touch of water. Ok, a lot of water. These were my babies! I finally stopped watering them when the the folks at Spring Hollow Reservoir called and asked me to "STOP".
When all was said and done, I was covered dirt, mulch and sweat. A pair of Carhartt pants trashed, knees and low back ached and I had consumed enough Gatorade to float a small water craft...and I had a new respect for those of you who do the hard work of planning, planting and curating gardens and habitats.
To recover from the morning's debacle, I spent the afternoon with my old friends Mower, Blower, Felco pruners and Silky hand-saw. Ahhhhh, back to super-hero work!
P.S. I also knew that I would be guest blogger today so my head nearly spun itself free of my person as thoughts and ideas raced inside. A new level of respect and appreciation was achieved for the bloggers who teach, entertain and share with the rest of us and ask nothing in return.