Sunday, April 17, 2005

Someday, son, this will be all yours!

Today began the annual quixotic effort to make things other than mold or fungus grow in our yard. We live in shade. Deep shade. Virtually nothing flourishes in our environment. But we live in the suburbs, along an oft-seen street. You just can't keep a yard like you might if you lived out in the woods.

My soil is a mess, and I'm now fighting a pretty dramatic erosion problem. Situated at the top of a bank, the rainwater runoff carries the little bit of good topsoil away. As I think I mentioned, it's hard to get things to grow. Even the tolerant and resilient pachysandra and ivy have some patches of ground that they refuse to touch. I try to rehabilitate the ground by working in some new topsoil and mulching the areas that can use it. I can usually get something to come up in spring, but by mid-summer, it's a goner.

Don't feel compelled to offer tips. I'm sure I'm a terrible gardener, but we're dealing with forces of nature here.

We've long ago adopted a "green is good" philosophy. Noxious weeds are welcome if they'll just cover the ground. How I dream of a mossy meadow.

One of these days, I'm going to give up and just pave the whole damnable mess. But for now, I'm still trying to coax some life out of a few scrawny azaleas. I spent a few hours with the lad planting a few patches of impatiens. I don't like them, just as I'm unimpressed by the cabbagey hastas, but they give us something that can nominally be called pretty to look at. At least visitors to the house can know we cared enough to try.

For all my grousing, it was a lovely day. The weather was perfect. The boy was a charming and quasi-able assistant. The father-son time was cherished. It's nice to think about sharing my pointless battles with the next generation. Someday, he too will repeatedly bang his head against the wall of futility because his old man showed him how.


Post a Comment

<< Home