As our growing season here in Syracuse, N.Y., winds down for a long winter’s nap, my dear wife Karen and I have noticed what a really big year it’s been for the mid-yard garden in front of our house.
In fact, It may have been too hardy of a second year for the forsythia. In year two of its life in the front yard in the city neighborhood of Eastwood, the plant has overtaken the spot. The roses. The hostas. The succulents. The gerber daisies. All have been seemingly shoved to the outer edges by that enthusiastic forsythia.
Karen and I have talked about moving this and transplanting that. I think a succulent will do well in the sole tough spot, way in the skinny, shady corner, of our triangle butterfly garden out back. Karen has reminded me that she’d really like to extend the front-yard growing space, take it out toward the middle of the house, shape it like an hourglass.
Today is Karen’s birthday. I decided to add a gift of sweat equity to my list of presents for my dear wife.
This morning, I grabbed the spade. I dug around the edges until the new space joined with the old garden in just the right proportions. I shall call it the shape of a Budweiser glass.
I worked the spade toward the middle, throwing the freed sod into our wheelbarrow.
After the grass was gone, I tossed in and spread a bag of soil designed for flower and vegetable gardens. It promises nine months of feeding. The nutrients will be there for the taking come spring.
A new bag of the good stuff — Miracle Gro potting soil — sits in the shed, awaiting its mixture into our earth around the roots of whatever Karen puts into the ground come spring. She’s the true gardener of the house, the one who puts the loving final touches around anything we place into our soil each year, even a plant so big that I have to dig and drop it into the hole.
Now we have our long northern winter to talk happily about what we’ll purchase on that first spring trip to the nursery.
Happy birthday, Karen.