May I Have A Bit Of Earth, To Make a Garden?

Perhaps my fascination with Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden meant that I was always destined to live in England. Because who wants a "yard", when you can have a "garden"? There's something much more magical sounding about the English word for the small patch of green at the front or back of your house.

There's a scene in The Secret Garden where Mary asks her scary uncle if she may "have a bit of earth, to make a garden?" 

It's always kind of stuck with me. And it's the one phrase I can say in an English accent. (I know, 13 years here and what do I have to show for it? I still sound completely American, and I forget it sometimes -- I'm often shocked when people ask me if I live here.)

Now that the Hub and I actually have a bit of earth, to make a garden, I realized that what we lack is a set of green thumbs. I know it's a little late in the season to be turning to gardening, but we were travelling earlier this summer and frankly, I was a little daunted by not being able to figure out what in the garden was a plant and what was a weed. 

But enough was enough. The garden walls were closing in on us with overgrowth and what better way to get outside and have husband-wife bonding time than with arguments over whether or not we really need a stepladder or edging tool? 

You can see here that the ivy is really out of control:

I drafted in the help of a friend who owns a gardening business to come in and give us a gardening lesson. He identified we have about three plants worth saving and then gave us instructions on how to tidy things up and also how to get rid of pesky rowan tree shoots (who knew the rowan was so horrible?). 

When I was a kid I never understood why my parents spent so much time planting things. Trips to the nursery with my mom to select the best impatients were bor-ring! But now I get it. We spend so much time indoors, that the idea of getting outside and digging around in the dirt sounds good and reminds you of early science lessons in how much we need these green plants to survive on this planet. 

Hopefully the Hub and I can work seamlessly together this afternoon in our garden clear up adventures. We were advised just to get everything under control now and worry about new planting in the spring. So like everything in life -- one small bit of earth at a time.

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