Gardeners are odd people. According to non-gardeners, anyways. But, what do they know? Gardeners consider themselves driven, nature-loving and caring people. Let me give you an example or two. Non-gardeners will shake their heads like I’m indeed odd. Yet, I believe the gardeners will give me an understanding nod.
About two weeks ago, I realized the vegetable garden should be topped up. I wished to grow giant pumpkins and miniature pumpkins and I felt new soil would improve the odds of having homegrown pumpkins this year.
I called a landscaping company out in the county that I had ordered topsoil from many years ago. Another time I tried a different company and I spent all summer pulling out foreign weeds brought to me with the new soil.
The woman on the phone asked me when I wanted it to be delivered. I replied, “The sooner, the better!” I figured I was late jumping on the bandwagon to order topsoil and I knew I didn’t want to plant before the soil was topped up. When she told me it would be delivered the next day, I was overjoyed. Rain was forecast in two days. I didn’t want the precious soil running down the driveway with the rainfall. I had also been concerned the place might not have been open because of the pandemic. So I was doubly happy!
I got off the phone, looked at my hubby and said, “I forgot to ask the price! Silly me!”
“What?! They could be charging you $80 a load. You really didn’t ask?”
Nope, I did not. I was so focused—driven!—on getting my topsoil from a reputable company that I didn’t even think about it. I immediately called them back.
“It was only $25 a yard.” Then, I whispered, “With a $75 delivery fee.”
I got up early the next day in hopes my order would be first of the day. It was! The truck driver apologized in advance, saying that there might be a couple of rocks in the load from the previous delivery. (There were only about four rocks.) He then went on to discuss the conspiracy theory behind the coronavirus. I suspected he may have a few rocks in his head but I just listened. I wanted my soil.
I loaded up my wheelbarrow and headed to the backyard. In the spring, forget-me-not flowers like to invade my garden but they usually are done blooming by planting time. I have an area ahead of my veggie garden where volunteer flowers bloom every summer. I now realized I had a problem.
The forget-me-nots were blocking my path. There was no way I could barge my wheelbarrow directly to the veggie patch without sacrificing the flowers. I just could not do it.
I did what I had to do, and I have no regrets. For each wheelbarrow load, I parked the wheelbarrow at the border of the flower bed. Then I scooped the soil into a small bucket and carried it to the vegetable garden. One pailful at a time.
Yes, it was far more laborious but I couldn’t kill the pretty, innocent flowers. I even stopped to take photos of them when the sun cast their shadows on the stepping stones.
I figured now that I was retired, well, I had all the time in the world. Actually I have the same 24 hours as everyone else. But I do not have to dedicate time to the workforce anymore.
When I told my hubby about this more time-consuming process, he said, “Now I know you’ve found your calling in life. It’s called Retirement!”
Since that day, I have enjoyed the beauty of the forget-me-nots more than ever before. With the pandemic, I’m spending plenty of time at home. Seeing the delicate flowers everyday brings me joy in the midst of the crazy world around me.
So that is the tale of a woman driven to get her topsoil, yet caring enough to preserve the little blue flowers. If you’re a gardener, too, I know you’d do the exact same thing!
Happy planting, my friends! Seize the shovel!