Thursday, April 16, 2009

Getting Dirt Under My Fingernails

Over the last decade and a half, my love for touching Nature and the Earth has grown and grown. While millions of people sit in their metal boxes, staring at a concrete jungle with all it’s plastics and asphalt, I can find a small sanctuary filled with green leaves and colourful flower petals that will allow me to forget about ‘that’ world – if even for a moment.

Last Sunday, I continued my work in my garden…

Since I’ve learned that any attempt to plant vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and squash will fail – because the neighbourhood squirrels destroy these plants – I’ve decided to plant a flower garden instead, in most of this space. To begin, I simply raked away all the leaves that I had piled onto the flowers that I planted last year. I read that it is good to rake a thick pile of leaves onto flowerbeds, in the fall, to give them a small bit of protection during the winter season.

I raked the leaves onto the area of the garden that I had no time to attend to, last year. Last year, this area grew an abundance of weeds and a few tall flowering plants and unless I do something, it will start to overtake my cultivated areas. Once the leaves have been spread through this area, it is time to turn the ground over. The leaves will be buried underneath and they will add nutrients to the soil.

Although the squirrels have forced me to stay away from planting vegetables, I still plant a few root vegetables that they can’t get to easily. Above the ground, the leaves of the carrots and potatoes grow, while in the ground the vegetable remains safe. It is a little limiting, but it’s a compromise that I had to make.

Just after noon, I took myself to a matinee to see ‘The Watchmen’. It was a great film. I was an avid reader and collector of comics, during my teenage years and now it seems like all my favourite comic books are coming to life on the silver screen. I was always drawn towards the works of a few select comic authors and artists. Alan Moore – who reinvented ‘The Swamp Thing’ was one of the authors of the Watchmen comic book series. I could go on and on about this film, but I’ll simply say that it was extremely well done and thoroughly enjoyable.

On the way home, I heard on the radio that it was going to snow over the next two days. Arghhhh! When is winter going to end???? I decided to postpone my gardening ambitions. I figured that the plants need time to heal and grow strong again, after I had transplanted them and split their roots apart, so I didn’t want them to have to struggle against the cold, too. My gardening would have to wait for a little while.

My parents had told me that they had received over a foot of snow in the days that followed. I guess we were a little lucky, here in London – we just saw an inch on the ground and by last Wednesday the snow was gone.

Soon after, my gardening continued… but that’s another story.


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