I'm at about the halfway point. So probably another twenty hours of trenching last year's collected leaves into beds. Then there's a little more trench digging, to protect resources from things like Creeping Grass and the long run roots of Wisteria and assorted woody perennials. Followed by an unknown number of hours distributing compost. Never certain how much compost there will be, until you begin the process of dismantling compost piles. And dismantling compost piles can be kind of exciting, what with the community which prefers to hibernate in compost piles and there's always a chance that what you thought was a compost pile is just a bunch of dried up grass and twigs. But last year was a good year for rain so I feel pretty good about compost this year, which is the sort of off hand remark that can lead to an enthusiasm that's pretty well certain to be crushed. As well in good compost there's always some kind of a Salamander or other slithering thing that's not quite ready to get up and about, and you can kind of feel bad, especially if it's not yet past frost, or maybe another Polar Vortex, which did terrible things to the Laurels.
I guess the purists would be more particular in their construction of compost
piles. But here where I live, there's a certain stubbornness for the idea that
everything from the kingdoms of living things melts down, if not within a
year, then maybe next year or ten years from now. Then after hours and hours and
hours in harmony with his shovel and his wheel barrow a gardener might be
sitting on his chair, gently panting, his face beet red, his various body parts
in some disagreement with each other, a sing in his ear that certainly suggests
he might still actually be alive, and someone mentions, 'No-till gardening.'
Which is all very well if you're a little dippy and easily conned by things like
picture books and planting charts and labor under the illusion that gardening is
sort of like watching television or sitting down with friends to do something
like make conversation. And when you hear a remark like 'No-till gardening,' the
better reaction is one of indulgence and polite head nodding, rather than
attempt to embark upon long winded explanations about the nature of meaning.