April 5th, 2021


Idol Survivor: "In The Garden"

In The Garden
idol survivor | daily-fic challenge, day 17 #2 | 2130 words


It's Sunday and I have two Idol stories to write, and yet I found myself in the garden this afternoon. There is so much to do, inside the house and out, with whole weekends of chores and projects that have already been deferred many times over for weather or for writing. At this point, it would help just to get some of them done.

But the only one I was really prepared to do something about this weekend was the garden.

The beautiful spring day was a reminder that there is a limited amount of time to clean things up and do some replanting. Once the weather turns hotter, any new plants are likely to die, and the ground becomes so hard that trying to remove weeds is like trying to chip concrete. Last year, we missed out on replanting altogether. Nurseries were closed due to COVID, and by the time they reopened, it was too hot for new plants. We have a dead rose-tree that needs replacing, because HalfshellHusband (HSH) stumbled over it and killed it a couple of years ago. Then there are the trouble spots, two along the front walkway, two next to the house, and the remaining two are in semi-open areas in the middle of the lawn. All of those spots are revolving doors, where plants go in and then die a year or two later—or their neighbors die instead. Too sunny, too wet, too… cursed? It's always something.

Except for the areas near the house, the other spots were shaded by really large trees when we moved in, and they have been nothing but trouble since we had to remove those trees twelve years ago. It's the Sacramento heat and sun that does it—few plants can tolerate being out in the open. But because those areas were previously landscaped, it's hard not to want to revive them. I would be more prone to let them go than HSH, because the yard is already over-planted compared to the amount of time I have to spend on it. But so far, he hasn't liked the idea of letting more of it transition to becoming lawn.

The previous owner apparently hated mowing the lawn, and probably invested heavily in landscaping (OVER-landscaping) because he knew he'd be selling the house at some point. But the lot is a third of an acre, and there are just too many areas of open dirt (weed magnets) and too many plants that need pruning, deadheading, or other cleanup.

I focused on weeding and cleanup last weekend and this weekend. Buying a new rose tree requires going to the big nursery five miles from here, and that place saps my will to live. \o? I love the smaller nursery just a mile and-a-half away, but they don't have enough stock or diversity to find a suitable replacement there. The previous rose tree was one of ten, all of them different, so variety is key. I'm putting that trip off until after Idol is over, since I already have more than the maximum amount of stress and time-commitment I want right now anyway. :O

Last Sunday, I cut back the rose bush by the pool, where it crowds the pavement and makes it hard for anyone to get past it. I do this multiple times a year, and that plant frustrates me for a number of reasons. It sends up tall runners, which need pruning, and the branches perpetually die back in random places. There are tons of dead stems underneath it that need removing, but they're hard to get to, and it's a very "stabby" plant. It has soft, pliant branches that specialize in getting caught in your skin, and it's hard to get unstuck. Eventually, I always lose patience with being clawed and scratched by it, and move on to work on something else.

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I'll try to add on some pictures later, if I get a chance.