I’ve spent most of the past two days outside, finishing putting those shrubs in the ground. And it turned out to be a pretty good project. They’re small for the most part (the Hawthorns are the biggest ones by far right now), but they’ll eventually grow up and out. Might take a year or two to get really, really nice and blooming… or maybe they’ll be able to do a little even at this stage of growth. Who knows?
Well, I’m sure somebody does, but it certainly ain’t me.
Yeah, it’s definitely gonna take a while to get them growing big enough to effectively produce shade, but I’m glad I got ’em planted within three days (would’ve taken a little less time except I had to dig out some concrete fragments that got buried when they put the foundation sand down). It’s all Hawthornes, small Gardenias, azaleas, and butterfly bushes. The tall skinny green thing in the foreground is a peach tree I keep thinking has died but insists on a comeback. Hopefully it branches out again this year.
And the weather has been great. Got hot a few times, but the breeze that’s almost non-existent most of the year has been sticking around the past few days. I tend to get dark pretty easily once winter was over and short sleeves and shorts became the norm again. Years of working inside jobs kinda stifled that and I got generally paler. Right now, I think I’m more tan than I was by the end of last summer. I just can’t stay away from outside for very long. My house is a wreck and the mess is just getting worse and worse each day, but knowing that there’s so much I can do outside before it gets too hot… well, it’s hard to resist.
But it is putting a serious damper on my schedule, and with all the flowers I bought while out of the house earlier… yeah, it’s just gonna get worse for a bit.
I should’ve been working on online coursework the past few weeks. I signed up for all the courses I did because I figured, like most years, there’d be some intense rainy days or intensely hot days that would mean I’d stay inside more often. But the weather decided to keep being nice, and I haven’t gotten much done. I’m a few weeks behind and I believe finals are next week (or the week right after, I have to double check because I know there’s a grace period, I just don’t remember how long).
Yesterday was rainy and windy in turns, and I could’ve gotten some hours of reading done if the power hadn’t been knocked out by the winds knocking trees down on power lines down the road. I did manage to get a good strong lamp and read in the dark for a while, but the intensity of the light got to bothering me. So, I have to make myself take hours out of my day to sit down and get the damned reading and notes done. I just have some short quizzes to take that will help with the exam, but some of the material is trickier than others and distractions (the world outside) just make it worse.
And I have a doctor visit Monday, which will cramp my schedule some more.
This is probably why I’m going to force myself to go work outside bright and early in the a.m. with the flowers and what I can get done in a short few hours. As the day gets a bit hotter, I’ll spend 2-3 hours inside and then go back out. I was stiffly walking around earlier because of being on my feet all day and trimming trees and carrying loads. But I have to remind myself that if I want to get into the habit of exercising every day (whether gardening or the gym or whatever), I can’t overdo it. 2-3 hours on, 2-3 hours doing something else, back at it 2-3 hours after that, and on and on.
And I’m not a slow reader, I just need to stick to the initial plan and ignore the world outside for a bit the next few days. I believe I can get everything done, it’s just a matter of actually doing it even when the weather’s perfect. I just hope this perfect weather stretches out a bit longer so I can enjoy it more, because certainly there are pretty spring days around here, but when they start becoming “Summer, part 1”, I would have a hard time making myself be outside more than an hour at a time. I can hold my own most of the time in spite of my girth these days, but when we’re outside five minutes and the dogs are already panting from the heat and going for the water?
Yeah, that’s gonna make me go in early, even if I shouldn’t.
So today, I expanded my desire to help the pollinators and got some small plugs of flowers I can put with the trees I planted a while back. I got some stonecrop, which I’d never really seen anybody do anything with, some daylilies (though I am miffed they were only getting pricier, so I just got two), zinnias, and salvias. I’m going to put a small plant plug with these trees and brighten things up. It will help the mason bees as they come around (I put a couple of small hanging houses up for them already) and since some of the trees are bare-root trees I just planted a few months ago, they’re not much more than tall twigs with some green on them.
Tomorrow is going to be interesting, though I’m hoping not too time consuming. Some things I really need to do to protect the planting area from weed encroachment, but I’m waiting on a few more supplies to help, anyway. It’s nice to be out there and chat with the occasional neighbor just because I happen to be out there, too, and working. I must look like an insane green thumb to most people around here, but honestly, I’ve not been very good at it beyond tree planting…mostly.
And here I am, needing sleep for the day tomorrow, knowing I’ll have to do my best to get back on track with other things that matter. I’m sure there’s some old meals that need to be thrown out from the fridge by now, and some pans that need a good cleaning instead of patiently waiting their turn. And classwork, of course.
Not so early to bed, but certainly need to be early to rise. Perfect temperature to start the day predicted and I want to give myself every chance to get it done quick and right.