Lollygagging in the fall garden

Note to self: Plant more nasturtiums.

I was contemplating this while sitting in the backyard on a bench I had just repaired. And I had done a good enough job with the mending plates on the bench that it was safe enough to sit on. Good job, Geri.

Sitting at all in the garden is a rarity for me, as it is for almost every gardener I have ever met. We don’t go out there to lollygag. We go out there to garden and do chores. So I also put on the air conditioning cover and fixed a tarp over a bench. I turned up the wagons to stand on end in the lilac bushes so they won’t gather snow and water over the winter. And I hauled my garden carts into the screen house.

And then I sat down. And I surveyed my tiny backyard which is turning into everything and more I envisioned it would be when I moved here in 1989. Back then, I was just amazed that I owned a house. But by then I had been to many other houses and had been storing up ideas of what I could do when I owned my own little plot of land.

Most of those ideas have been slowly implemented over the years as my gardening and construction skills grew.

Last summer, my sister Therese got me started on the biggest project. She had always said we should turn the entire backyard into a stone patio surrounded by gardens.

I had the gardens. Now it was time for the patio.

We busted sod, laid stone and I even planted thyme in between the stones.

That began last summer and we got about a third of the backyard covered in stone. This summer, I tackled another third on my own. It isn’t as well done as the patio stone that Therese laid, but I am still well pleased with it. Pleased enough that at the end of tucking up the garden for the season, I sat down to survey all I had accomplished.

The windmill was spinning wildly in the wind, which lifted my spirits because it proved that when I moved it to the backyard, I actually was able to install it on level ground. No small feat for me since most of my life and construction projects are usually just slightly off kilter.

The potting shed Therese and I built on a scorching August day several years ago is stuffed with tools and my lawn mower. It’s a bit worse for the wear but I still like it very much.

The fence enclosure I built nearly 20 years ago is still sturdy and doing it’s job of protecting the AC unit.

And then there are the nasturtiums.

Those delicate little flowers are still in bloom, bobbing in the breeze, their cheery brightness asking me why I hadn’t planted more of them. They should be all over the yard, and next year they will be.

So thanks, Mother Nature, for this bonus week in the garden. It was more than I expected and everything I hoped it would be.  I’m not ready for winter in my head, but the garden is ready for whatever may come.

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