This Is Not The Garden Of Eden

My mother often used some pretty colourful language and she is brought to mind today because if she were here, she would ask why I’m walking around like I have a stick up my bum.

I am feeling so many shades of stiff, achey, and blistered from 2 weeks of digging, bending, and raking in my yard.  It seems that my low maintenance front yard went into high maintenance this year as 11 plants – ELEVEN!! – failed to survive the past winter.

upalie

The tightly compacted earth just wasn’t giving up the root-balls of the dead ornamental grasses without a significant fight.  I might have eventually won the battle, but my body is feeling the worst for the effort.

Throughout this struggle, my neighbour across the street – with an immaculate property -has smiled kindly at my struggles and frequently offered advice and encouragement.  Over the past 4 years since I retired, he was watched me graduate from complete ineptness to a modicum of budding talent with the green stuff surrounding my house.

fence

Meanwhile, I’m thinking I wouldn’t mind my cat’s life.  Theo has been supervising from his new favourite spot for afternoon naps.  From his vantage point under the shrubs lining the front of the house, he’s been keeping a territorial eye on his domain while snoozing in the shade.

Theo-2

He did however, make the effort to come out and carefully sniff and rub against every new plant going into ground.   It’s hard to tell yet whether he approves of the changes.

side garden

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Active Lifestyle, Nature, Outdoor Stuff, Random Stuff and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to This Is Not The Garden Of Eden

  1. Mél@nie says:

    nice post, and a pleasant surprise: that awesome cat looks exactly like our Lucky-Loulou… 🙂

    Like

  2. Oh I feel your pain – what a winter and I’ve had to dig up a few victims myself. The art you have on your fence is great though and please update us on how your new garden is doing mid summer!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      At the rate we’ve been going the past week or so, I’m wondering if we had summer in May. Everything is so soggy now and growth is definitely behind schedule.
      I have my fingers crossed that things turn around soon.

      Like

  3. treerabold says:

    Eleven?! Ouch!! I strive for a low maintenance garden….but its kind of like getting a “free” puppy…it just doesn’t exist!!
    My job today is chopping down the extreme jungle like overgrowth – once called a yard – that popped up during the massive rains. Its finally dry enough to mow!

    Like

  4. Alex Hurst says:

    I love your garden decorations! They’re beautiful (though I’m sure they are more beautiful with plants all around them. Are those tulips dried or a very convincing sculpture?

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you – I’m always on the lookout to add to my fence art 🙂
      The flowers are made out of what I think is a kind of corrugated metal. In the fall I take everything down, clean it and put it away for the winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Phil Taylor says:

    I love the picture of Theo. I had a cat that looked just like him.

    Like

  6. LB says:

    Despite your sore, achey, blistered body you’ve managed to capture some lovely images, Joanne. And soon, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks! I’m loving my new little camera and resisting the urge to photograph everything 😉
      As things start to fill out (hopefully), be warned there will be more photos!

      Like

  7. Joanne, you have such beautiful artwork in your garden as well as lovely, colorful greenery. I’m dying to know what the artful flowers against your fencing are made of. They are SO exquisite!
    And well done you for all that back breaking labor. I refuse to do anymore than about fifteen minutes a day of weed pulling, watering and planting each day–which is a very lame way to trick myself into the near hour a day that I end up handing over.
    Last week I cursed all the big fat rabbits for eating practically all my kitchen garden lettuces, and then saved a baby bunny who was close to drowning in the pool. I feel so torn sometimes trying to decide who I’m really gardening for. Ah well, at least I can feel good about knowing that all the animals around my house are getting a fine organic diet.

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    • joannesisco says:

      You saved a bunny!!! ❤ You are now on a very high pedestal.

      I'm not sure exactly what the flower plaques are made of … but they seem to be some kind of sheet metal. I bring in all the art work in the fall and feel so happy when I get to put it back out in the spring.

      I'm quite proud of all this gardening stuff … it really is something new for me. I'm quite excited to see whether the new flowering shrubs thrive. I have my fingers crossed 🙂

      Like

  8. Mrs. P says:

    Why is it that the things I enjoy doing have the after effect of pain connected with them? If gardening did not produce such lovely results then I am sure that I would have turned my garden into a rock garden. 😀

    Like

  9. Lynn says:

    A good friend of mine used to say that gardening should be declared an Olympic sport! It can definitely fire up unused muscles but the payoff is so rewarding. Your garden looks beautiful Joanne. Now find your inner Theo & seek out a lovely spot to take a cat nap:)

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      You’re right – a well kept garden is simply beautiful, but sometimes I wonder why I bother fightly nature and I should just allow her to take over like she will eventually anyway 😉

      Like

  10. As one who could barely get out of bed after resuming gardening in March, I so feel your pain. Or felt it, I’m back in a modicum of shape now. I often say “who needs a gym when they have a garden?” Seriously, I try to incorporate good exercise techniques when lifting and bending, concentrating on proper form and all that rot. But I don’t care how strong you are, nothing short of a bomb can get a happily entrenched ornamental grass out of the soil. I leave that to the menfolk! I can only imagine your plant loss up in Canada, Joanne, I lost quite a bit this winter too. In my case it wasn’t the cold, it was the combo platter of cold and wind which just did a number on many lovely established plants. Such is life…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks for that Barbara. I was wondering how a dead plant could have such stubborn roots.

      After a visit to the nursery, it seems my trouble with the ornamental grasses was not caused by the winter, but by their location.

      We have a giant red pine in our front yard and a few years ago had it professionally landscaped. In one section, the landscaper filled it with ornamental grasses. They have all died. This week the nursery told me ornamental grasses won’t survive in acidic soil.
      This is just one of several mistakes this landscaper made. Sigh.

      I have now planted weigelas there which I’m told will do well in this soil. We’ll see.

      Like

  11. NancyTex says:

    Beautiful job, Jo! I’m still trying to figure out what the mystery perennials are at the new place. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The garden is looking lovely, your hard work is paying off.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Two weeks ago I was on my knees in my garden, promised myself to never every do this again. I was sweating bullets and decided to put concrete walkways where the flowerbeds are. “This is not worth it”. Today I was outside and looked around and I was at peace, it’s my sanctuary. But boy it’s hard work. Love your garden and your smart cat 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. All these pictures are absolutely gorgeous. Your garden is beautiful if not, well, exactly, living. I’m sorry you had so many fatalities over the winter. I heard of a lot of people who were amazed their gardens made it through but I guess you weren’t so lucky. Good luck and take care. Oh, and watch that cat of yours. I can see that one eye open…just barely….

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Two weeks? You are amazing. I can barely record 60 minutes a week.
    The last two winters have delivered a one-two sucker punch to normally sturdy vegetation. It’s heartbreaking. And back breaking, but you don’t need me to remind you!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. lovetotrav says:

    Gardening is major exercise… I know… I did it once. Ha Ha…Your yard is adorable.. the Buddha, the wall hangings and of course, Theo who rocks it in his absolute adorableness.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I lose plants every year too. But that’s just incompetence. And disinterest.
    I gave up on the weeds years ago. Hey, at least the yard looks green.
    The only part of the garden I have any interest in is the part that’s growing stuff I can eat. I have a vested interest.
    Love your wall art. Gotta get me some of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. M-R says:

    Must be heart-breaking to lose plants; which is what must happen very often to gardeners in places where there’s ice and snow and frost and stuff, Joanne … You’re brave !
    Looks terrific right now; and you have MONTHS ahead of you for your garden to burgeon ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. mickscogs says:

    Is that Boddisshatva, Joanne; Mother Earth? Great choice for you garden.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. bikerchick57 says:

    I love your garden ornamentation, including the sleeping cat! LOL! Oh, how I would have loved to help you with your yard projects…soreness be damned. It’s such good therapy!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Sue Slaght says:

    We were just out shopping this morning for things for our newly landscapes back yard. Perhaps once you have rested up you might like to come help? Your yard looks beautiful! All that snow must have taken a toll on the plants I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I have just come inside from my first attempt at weeding flowerbeds. OMG. I have never been so sore in my life! I’m really glad to read it’s not just me that has these issues as I was out there telling myself I just needed to hang in there and eventually I would get built up. Am sorry for your aches and pains, but, OMG, Joanne, that wall art on the fencing is splendid! Love those bunches of 3! Awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      I’ve discovered that gardening is HARD work!! It is definitely not for the weak and infirm.

      The sad part is, I still have TONS of weeding to do. Tell me again why I wanted summer? 😉

      I love my outdoor wall art and I’m always on the lookout for something new and interesting to add to it. Big swathes of fencing just begs for art to fill it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Sammy D. says:

    Ooh ooh ooh your wall art is WOW spectacular. I love garden art. And I only have a tiny flowerbed now but I totally suffer for 3 days no matter how ergonomically I bend and dig and pull. Several of my newly purchased plants have perished so I have to go for round 2. I took a lot of tub filled to the top HOT baths with epsom salts 😋

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      That’s exactly what I did last night and laying in the hot tub felt glorious … not to mention the fact I slept like a baby 🙂

      I love outdoor wall art too and whenever I can find something a little interesting at a good price, I try to pick it up. My new *thing* are statues … as you can see with my Nepali Buddha.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I love your statue by the coleus; and the very pretty wall art. Now you can sit back, put your feet up and enjoy your beautiful surroundings while sipping your favorite beverage. Theo is too cute!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      Oh thank you … especially since you were my inspiration. I can hardly wait until the coleus are filled in. I love that corner when it’s all filled in with the bright colours from the coleus 🙂

      … and Theo thanks you for the kind compliment!

      Like

  25. Sprucing up the garden after the winter was always backbreaking, but the two-fold payoff later trumped all that. I felt invigorated and my plants loved me. You too, right? 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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