Gardening

Division of Labor – Not

yellow cone flowers

While Richard used the heat gun, applied citric solvent and scraped years of pigment (thankfully no lead) in preparation for the installation of nine new windows all part of our rennovation projects, I focused on our rain garden. A part of the yard, like mowing, that I had previously identified as Richard’s purview.

With his Parkinson’s Disease (PD) diagnosis last July 23, I made a conscientious decision not to immediately tackle “his” jobs. Rather, to allow him time to navigate what was still comfortably do-able and what was not before I took on a task (or we hired it done.) So last summer went by with very little attention given to our rain garden; that long expanse of ground which replaced the old tarmac driveway. It suffered from overgrown perennials, too few wood chips, and oh so many weeds.

Admittedly, we had never discussed a division of labor however, in my mind, there was a clear delineation. Each summer, while I focused on our square-foot vegetables and 20+ potted plants (the number always varies) I let Richard maintain the rain garden. Come to find out (amazing what a conversation reveals!) that he was unaware of this breakdown in gardening duties. What I had assumed was his preference was actually a simple default location determined by cool morning shade. Recently, following Richard’s wise example, I have started my morning gardening tasks in the shade and the rain garden now presents a bit of order sans so many weeds.

Gardening

Water – Splash and flowing

Our small Kutzky Park garden is actually several distinct patches.  Six, 4-foot square raised beds for vegetables, four fenced blueberry bushes that yielded 25 cups of succulent summer fruit that we greedily consumed only sharing two berries with our neighbor, a rain garden that replaced an old tarmac driveway and an assortment of annuals and perennials for cutting with a small solar fountain at the center.  It is not a hardship to sit on our screened porch, especially this pandemic summer and listen to the solar fountain gently splashing while often catching sight of a brilliant goldfinch perched on the fountain’s edge.

One of this summer’s home improvement projects was the refurbishing the rain garden.  Our initial attempt to direct roof runoff worked well but a decade of freezing and thawing resulted in too much water flowing into the storm drain.  Now, with new river rock spillways leading from downspouts to a catch basin, we once again capture the rainwater from the east side of our house and, coincidently, the west side our neighbor’s roof.  Just in time for this week’s cool temperatures and rainy days.  Autumn has arrived.