Over the past weekends, Alison has been busy with gardening. Planting new shrubs (yellow, red and pagoda dogwood, hostas and ), moving others (raspberry, ferns) and even planting some annuals (impatience). The previous owner of this house left the garden as follows. A lawn with one path towards the end made of concrete tiles. The lawn was planted on maybe 10, 15 cm of soil and underneath that is a solid layer of gravel. Not exactly a nice underground for plants. Over the past 10 years Alison planted shrubs and trees, but since we have a lot of shade some plants doesn’t do very well.

I hate gardening, a dislike that originated since my early childhood, when my parents bought a house in the country with a lot of land that needed to be turned into a garden. So they spent enormous amounts of time (and money) in the garden and not playing with me. Or something like that.

It only dawned this past weekend, when I was helping Alison by digging some holes, there is another reason for disliking gardening. I’m a perfectionist and after you’ve planted new plants it looks so bad. So unfinished, so untidy, with these small plants surrounding by ugly patches of dirt. It takes long before things grow a bit and then they die again, are covered with snow (I like snow, it makes everything tidy :-) and then the next year they return all brown and with some luck they have survived the winter.

But that being said, I think our garden has improved immensely the last couple of weeks. It helps that we have competition: our new neighbour is also spending copious amounts of time working in her garden. Of course her gardening ideas are totally different from ours óshe has mulched beds with one plant every 50 cm, nearly all of them different speciesó but the competition works anyway.

I’m more happy moving the tap for the garden hose to another place, or building a fence. At least those things are finished when they’re done, and aren’t subject to the whims of mother nature.