Can you dig it?
Friday March 20th 2015, 9:25 pm
Filed under: Family,Garden

The first Fuji apple flowers burst into bloom today–and yesterday I couldn’t even find buds, I looked.

The Stella cherry. 

Pushing around half-barrels full of soil and plants (fig, raspberry) the last two days to test sun hours may not have been my best move–I woke up at dark o’clock in shooting streaks of oh-no-you-didn’t. Wait, *I’m* not the one with the bad back.

Come the morning I took it easy and sat up straight and did all the right things and as the day went on the twinges faded out.

Y’know, I’ve really badly wanted all week to plant that Gold Nugget mandarin and it’s not healthy for it to stay in that small nursery pot too long, thought I. Dinner was ready to go. Richard wasn’t home yet. I picked up the spade–okay, that felt pretty much okay–and walked over to the spot the two of us had agreed on.

Just like the one time I’d tried before, that hardpack seemed utterly impervious to anything I could do to it; the metal tip wanted to simply ricochet off.

Just one little bit to mark the spot? This was one chore where I could simply stop any time if I needed to. I even had, once.

Yeah who was I fooling. Suddenly I was finding that it was just that top layer that was difficult, it was beautiful, soft soil underneath and there was the spade sliding right on through it. All those years of accumulated buckthorn leaves had done some real good over here and the earthworms I encountered thought so, too. I didn’t hit the water line this time.

I picked up the pot (okay, that was pushing it a bit) and set it in the hole a moment to see how it was coming along. Ideally, I should dig wider; it was wider than I thought, though. Ideally, it should be deeper. Actually, I was going to have to fill it back in a bit. And since it’s not all clay here the roots should be just fine.

Richard got home and let me drag him out there to be part of the final decision process. He didn’t tell me I shouldn’t be doing this quite yet; he knew how badly I wanted to. It’s just one day and then we have a healthy tree for life.

I sprinkled some olive-tree shavings across the bottom, added bagged soil, the mandarin, water, more bagged soil, and at last a ridge from the excavated soil to make a moat around the trunk. More water. I did cut back the scraggly old bushes that were peering over the edge of the hole in that picture earlier. The temperature hit low enough that the lights on the mango next to it clicked on in the dusk.

It is done. I cannot tell you how good it feels. Grow little tree grow!

3 Comments so far
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Oh, such beautiful little blossoms! Can you believe a gal who lives here in C’ville has NEVER been to DC?! I told her she had to go while the cherry blossoms are in bloom…

Comment by Channon 03.21.15 @ 5:31 pm

So satisfying to pat that last bit of soil in place and give it a drink, isn’t it?

Comment by twinsetellen 03.22.15 @ 1:35 pm

That’s just lovely. I’m enjoying the beginnings of buds here. The daffodils are budding out front and just starting to come up out back. But the deer have already found the greenery that the tulips have tried to get above ground. Sigh. There are way too many deer locally and I’m sure the hostas also will suffer this year. I think I’ll try splitting some off and putting them out back — I have 3 different hosta plants that have expanded too much for the area they have.

Comment by Susan (sjanova) 03.22.15 @ 3:31 pm

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