Soon to be renowned!

Monday, October 12, 2015

The (dis)satisfaction of a job well done

“Hey, check out all the bulbs I just planted,” said no one ever.

What'd be the point? You spend hours hunched over, on your knees, stabbing at the obdurate earth in an increasingly wild, spiteful, and unproductive manner, stuffing the ungrateful bulbs into their new home, only to step back and face the demoralizing realization that you have apparently accomplished nothing at all. There is no evidence to vouch for your toil. Most of gardening offers at least some small visual or aesthetic reward for a day's labor and pain. But with bulbs, the stupid things are buried, invisible, and forgotten as soon as you pop your spine into some semblance of a hominid and stagger off in search of ibuprofen.

Here, by way of example, take a look at Fencebroke's newest bed, along the sidewalk in our front yard:
Imagine it like this, but better. And maybe I buried treasure, too.

A lot of work went into this. Removing sod, fighting tree roots, laying compost, choosing, arranging, and planting plants. But with every step, there was clear visual affirmation that the place was changing as a result of my moving around and doing things—little psychological high-fives when I stood back and looked. Bare dirt: high-five! The dark stain of good compost: chest bump! The composition of plants: <catcall> looking good, baby! The plants sunk and watered, a landscape improved: vuvuzelas!

Bulbs planted: waa-waaa …

Trust me, they're there. Lots of fragrant Narcissus, Muscari, and Hyacinth. They'll be beautiful. Maybe. Who knows. Check back in Spring and we'll see how many weren't dug up by squirrels; or lost to rot; or skewered by my own shovel when I forget that I planted bulbs there because there's no way to tell!

<sigh> here's to a job well done.