Princess Auto

Day 78: What an exciting place! I’d never been inside one before Monday. I’d ordered a 10″ bladed pole saw, which is a chain saw on a long stick. It had come in. I used to buy shoes, now it’s matching battery tools. I got a jack knife to pare down my cedar garden trellis materials to a point fine enough to dig into the soil. I got ordinary staples, sand paper, and more attention than I most often get at Canadian Tire. It was a wondrous experience to wander their aisles and for an hour and a half, I was in love. But I got out while I still had my wits and wallet about me.

I have stories to tell of snapping turtles, of a terrified hummingbird trapped in my shed, of tree-climbing men quoting me two hundred dollars an hour to fell trees, my newfound love of cotter pins, and replacing a wheel on a trailer, and much more.

But the real story here is that at 8:35 a.m. on Saturday June 9th, I planted the last grape vine, and my 33 fruits garden was planted, watered, mulched, and the pine and cedars that had stood in the way were down. I could hardly believe I’d actually made my deadline, and the project of fleshing out the hardscaping and boundaries could take their sweet time to develop. I had done what I foolishly set out to do.

I have planted my roses (still in deep shade, so cutting cedars is my next urgency); I have now terraced five sections of a vegetable garden; built a bean trellis; have potatoes that are putting on about six inches a day and need hilling up; tomatoes, peppers, beans, peas, curcurbits of all kinds, brassicas, and I am ready to call all that too a victory against ridiculously pressing time. I am exhausted, and I have lost five pounds eating chocolate cake and oreo cookies to inject instantaneous fuel into my crazy pace.

There is an enormous amount of refinement to be continued, but I can be human again. Yesterday I stood still in the vast barn to soak in the sunlit feeling of being. It’s now that life at Styx Crossing really begins, and for my gardening progress to slow. It’s time to begin this wordy interplay between myself, this place, my life, and the reverberations I hold of my garden-writing father. Fred in veg gdn Amarylis

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