Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Little Dirt Under the Fingernails Can Be Pretty Therapeutic

A Louisiana friend swears by the notion that on gorgeous days like today, by day's end you should smell like dirt. Pepper and I are doing our best. Spring is bustin' out all over at Moogie's Manor!  Look at these gorgeous trees that greet visitors from their spot next to the front door.

When we moved in late June, the Japanese Maple was identifiable, but I didn't really pay much attention to its companion tree.  We didn't realize that it's a magnificent, mature white dogwood until a week ago.  Wow! What a color contrast! There are Encore azaleas, too, and we put in an orange Hibiscus a few days ago (because I'm pretty sure the big Firecracker plant didn't survive the winter). I can't wait for the peonies to bloom!

There was not a whole lot of dirt at Moogie's Mansion, and that caused me to have to grow my herbs in containers where they didn't always survive the brutally hot summers. So, I'm understandably super excited to have tons of rich soil, brimming with friendly earthworms at the Manor!  You probably can't tell from the pic, but in the two beds I've put in sweet basil, lemon thyme, rosemary, both curly and flat-leaf parsley, lavender, chocolate mint, and chives!  They're already growing!  I'm thinking that I need to add a little cilantro and dill now, too. There's also a new baby gardenia in the curve of the back bed to give us a little gardenia action before I plant JB's in the front side-yard next fall.  I'm letting it grow strong in the controlled indoor environment before subjecting it to the whims of Mother Nature.

We lost our minds yesterday and went to Home Depot (which honors the military discount now, by the way, so they no longer have to bite me) where we invested in three flowering fruit trees and a pink dogwood. Pepper planted them this morning while I was out, so he'll be stove up for a few days.  He put the peach next to the hibiscus and hydrangea we planted earlier in the week. I also added some solar landscaping lights.  I'm looking forward to this evening to see how the configuration looks.  That's a good thing about solars -- you can move them around if you need to. And, you can bring them indoors when you have a power failure and don't want to bust out a bunch of heat-generating candles. (Helpful Tip of the Day!)

We also got some hanging baskets for the deck and colorful plants for the containers. One of them is a fern. I'm a little leery of the fern -- I've never been successful at keeping them alive in baskets, so we shall see. This one will be in a nice shady spot when the trees get through leafing out so it at least stands a fighting chance.

It's good to immerse oneself in happy, life-affirming things after a week like this. Please think of Younger Daughter and SIL#2 tomorrow -- the funeral will be in the afternoon.

Then go play in the dirt.


  1. Love seeing the photos of your new yard. It is looking great! xo

  2. Thanks, buddy! I'm working to meet your high standard!

  3. With the drought of the last few summers, I'm afraid to buy any plants. My mom wants to buy cactus for my yard.

  4. The Manor grounds are lookin' pretty spiffy! Every so often I get this twinge, remembering how much fun it was to bed down the annuals in our flower beds and just generally clean up the yard after winter. There most certainly is something very therapeutic about playin' in the dirt.