A lazy, satisfied gardener
And a son with a serious bee phobia
I am the laziest gardener, but I’m finally starting to reap the rewards of eight years of labor in my front yard. The need for weeding and mulching has become minimal, now that my densely over-planted garden has started reproducing itself without any assistance.
My goals this year are to:
Protect, divide, and transplant the natives
Remove the nonnatives, which I ignorantly planted, willy-nilly, with absolutely craven disregard for the local ecosystem
Transplant some elderberry bush shoots to the side bed
Contemplate the addition of a small redbud tree to the front, where we lost the pink dogwood two years ago
Even though I still hunger for new plants, I am going to temper myself and focus on transplanting and nurturing what I already have.
If you’re local and would like some free plants, please let me know if you’d use any of the following:
Japanese anemone, pink flowers, blooms in August (looks like this)
Hosta, white/purple flowers; so much hosta; I regret everything
Pachysandra (spreading groundcover, likes shade)
Daylilies, orange or burgundy
Iris germanica, range of purple varieties, some from Monticello
Lamb’s ear (shoots up tall, flowering purple stalks)
Canada anemone (delicate white blooms, likes shade, *native)
I’d be more than happy to dig them up for you! Come on by.
Meanwhile, most of our outdoor life nowadays is spent managing Felix’s newly acquired bee phobia.
The bumbling but bossy carpenter bees in our backyard have absolutely transfixed him with terror.
The other day, I put him in the grass for 30 seconds, and then turned around and he was completely prostrate, screaming, with his face in the grass, shouting, “BEE! BEE! BEE! BEE!” A carpenter bee was several yards away, minding its own business.
He’s started transferring this fear to almost all insects. We’re trying to tell him to politely say, “No, thank you, bee,” and wave them off, but I don’t think it’s working. With some faithful exposure therapy, I think he’s getting a little better, but it is still a trial.
“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” — Hebrews 2:1 (ESV)
What kind of cleaning rags do you prefer?
I have a large collection of microfiber cloths, because it’s what every house-cleaning guru tells you to use. But I want to stop using them, for two primary reasons:
They collect so much lint and debris in the washer and dryer that they tend to spread that lint around on surfaces when I use them to clean. (My mother insists that I need to wash them separately, in delicates bags, but I Don’t Have That Kind of Time, even though I’m sure she’s right.)
They leach thousands of plastic fibers into the water with every wash. Ugh/whoops.
In a real Housewife Move, I’ve started cutting up old dish towels and hand-stitching hems into them because I am insane. I do not have a sewing machine, and I am terrible at sewing, so this has been an extremely unpleasant chore. At the very least, it makes me feel like a beleaguered Victorian mother, stitching mournfully while her children waste away in calico rags.
I can keep doing this, of course, as it’s so virtuously frugal and housewifely of me, but I’m not sure what to do with my stash of microfiber cloths. Stop using them? Keep cutting up cotton towels and resent how bad I am at sewing and how little incentive I have to get better at it? What’s your perspective? (And also, maybe, can I just come over and let you teach me how to use your sewing machine for 30 minutes?)
An Immense World, Ed Yong
The Peregrine, J.A. Baker
The Song of the Cell, Siddhartha Mukherjee
Outlines, Rachel Cusk
Saving Time, Jenny Odell