I returned home at noon from my 4th chiropractic visit in two weeks.
It has always been frustrating to me that while my back--or shoulder--or ribcage--can 'go out'--it can't 'go back in' short of coercion by a professional.
"So, what have y'all been doing?" asks Dr K. as she bustles into the consulting room.
"Err, more gardening," I admit sheepishly.
Dr. K. presses a button, a motor hums and I am tilted flat on her table, face buried in the
"Is this the onset of old age?" I ask, as Dr. K. prods at my shoulder. "Do I have to stop gardening?"
[I am feeling just a bit sorry for myself, here!]
She snorts inelegantly.
"You're not that old and I almost never tell people to quit doin' stuff they like to do.
I don't know how anybody could set around doin' nothin!'
[Dr. K. like many college-educated people here continues to talk in the local vernacular.]
My shoulder obligingly crunches into place under pressure.
"Oh good," says Dr. K. and levers me upright.
She regales me with the encouraging story of a patient in her 80's who gardens crawling on her hands and knees. "She is just the happiest woman, comes in here for an adjustment, tells me what-all she's got growing in her garden."
We speak briefly of the problems associated with fibromyalgia. Dr. K. admits that I might be old enough to experience a 'touch of arthritis.'
Tucking her clipboard under one arm, she delivers her exit line; "You're no way needin' to quit gardening---but you might could try to do it in moderation!'
Leaving my car in the doctor's parking lot, I walk up to the Courthouse Square to the bank.
I catch sight of myself in a plate glass window--always a bit disconcerting.
I see a woman who is obviously not young--labeling her 'middle-aged' might even be s stretch. Greying hair which swings in a braid over my left shoulder--blue denim capris, sun-browned bare legs, feet in sandals, fingernails which in spite of repeated scrubbing wear the green/brown stains of plants and garden soil.
I ponder this idea of 'moderation.'
It has begun to dawn on me this spring that it is not so much what I do, but the fact that once in the gardens I don't stop weeding, transplanting, digging, hauling dirt, until I am forced inside by J.'s need for a meal--or by nightfall, when I suddenly realize that I have my face 6 inches from the earth trying to discern just a few more weeds as darkness creeps across the landscape.
I attempted moderation this afternoon.
I made our lunch, tended a load of laundry, answered emails.
I watered the 4 pots of daylilies which I had brought home from Wal Mart--reduced price and in need of urgent release from their black plastic nursery pots.
"Tomorrow," I told myself firmly. "Tomorrow will be time enough to plant them."
After a bit I wandered outside.
I admired the poppies in the upper perennial strip--so lovely, and their season so soon to be past.
I remembered that I intended to move 2 Stargazer lilies from in front of the porch to join the 'tree lilies' in the border. Surely that was a moderate sort of task.
I looked at the place designated for the bargin Stella D'Oro lilies--the area near the front steps where G. and I worked last week.
A clump of flopping over-grown sedum needed to be removed to make way for the lilies.
I found J.'s big shovel and began to pry up the clump of sedum.
The dirt along the edge of the porch is inhospitable, coarse. I broke the sedum into 3 parts, heaved the plants out onto the sidewalk.
Feeling virtuous, I took a 5 minute break.
I spread a layer of packaged garden soil over the disrupted ground, gently dragged around a half bale of peat moss. I stirred and turned, creating a nice climate for the lilies. They were pot-bound, poor things, so I carefully teased apart their tangled roots, tucked them in place.
I hauled off my debris, swept the porch, said nice things to my rosemary seedlings, shooed Sally and Sadie out of the freshly dug-over patch.
I went inside to scrub my paws, scooped out a helping of ice cream and went back to the porch.
Dusk crept in with the whip-poor-wills tuning up across the creek.
Bobwhites called, the mockingbird mocked and the bluebirds swished through the twilight intent on capturing a bedtime snack for their young.
I trust I accomplished a moderate amount of gardening.
I don't promise I can consistently apply 'moderation'--the season carries me along.
One of the self-sown poppies--a beautiful color.
Willis has no trouble with the concept of moderation--he indulges in fits of activity alternating with languid sprawls.
Two of my favorite achillia are in bloom.
The first magnolia opened yesterday--this one on a lower branch is today's offering--waxy
white and fragrant.
This shrub, whose name I don't know, fills the air with its scent--sharp, pervasive, rather than sweet.
[I want to call it fothergilla aka witch alder--but I have my doubts.]
The newly planted area by the steps. I may bring home yet another pot of Stella.
A clump of Stella D'Oro lillies planted last season, already spreading comfortably.
These lilies have become an urban cliche--almost ubiquitous in landscaping of public places.
Common they may be, but also readily available, economical, cheerful and sturdy--a good choice for a moderate gardener!