Friday, February 22, 2013

Who needs a gym, when you have a garden?

I, kind of, fell into gardening.  In 2011, I had gained weight due to illness and the subsequent treatment.  About 25 lbs.  I got married in late 2011 and went on honeymoon to North Carolina to a cabin in Bryson City.  We visited the Smokey Mountain State Park

It was October and it rained colored leaves....we hiked the nature trails and zip lines.  The area is absolutely breathtaking.

I'll never forget one water fall, it was probably 7/10 miles upward.  It was called the Juney Whank.  I was huffing and puffing walking this and the old people ...and I mean old...were beating me.  So I told my new husband when we get back from our honeymoon I am going to start working out again.

It was incredible
Another waterfall that was bigger and not quite so steep.

When I got back from honeymoon, we started walking.  We live on 15 acres and our driveway is approx. 1/4 mile long.  So daily we walked.  There was a lot of trash and debris on the property, because it used to be an illegal dump site.   Everytime I walked past the debris, I grimaced at the eye sores.  So I asked my husband to help me remove it for my Christmas present.   That is where it all began.  After clearing the debris I noticed, WOW...what a diamond in the rough....the property was gorgeous.  It had huge magnolias and oaks.  It even has a creek on it that runs the whole length of the rectangular shaped property..  Well, that is when I started gardening.    I lost the 25 lbs as a result of last year's gardening.   Leave it to me to grow a ton of flowers and lose a lot of weight after the wedding.  Needless to say, we are going back to Smokey Mountains and this time...I will OWN the Juney Wank.

This morning I woke up to screaming muscles.  I spent 10 hours yesterday doing one small section of the backyard.  I still can't get over how long it took.  My hamstrings (muscles under your butt), triceps (muscles on the back of the upper arms) and even my fingers (you know what those are) were just dying.  

This is the section I was working on...behind the pool chairs.

About a month ago I cleared out a lot of underbrush.

In my defense, I did plant 17 plants yesterday.  Yes, I bought an auger  but the auger is (six one way, half dozen the other).  It's very heavy and does not do well with roots.
So I planted six Big Daddy Hydrangeas and 10 mums.  The seventeenth plant was a rose tree I moved from the front field to the back rose garden.   Digging that much and fighting through roots was a chore.  Not to mention the hours of cleaning the area before planting.  We do have a gym in the barn, but gardening is so much more entertaining and less like a chore.  A lot of avid gardens I have seen are relatively thin.  It's a rarity to see someone with a large garden that I would categorize as overweight.  

 This is my using the landscaper program to see what the effect will look.  This isn't a true rendition.  Azaleas, mums, and camellias will bloom in the spring, then the crepe myrtle and hydrangeas in the growing season but I just wanted an idea.

I was actually pleased it was raining today.. but (sighs) it has stopped now....ever notice when you get ready to do physical labor your body starts whining?


NellJean said...

I'm always glad to see rain, but not because I'll stay inside. I had planned for some watering this morning that's being done for me while I make plans, lol.

That landscape program makes a stunning display; encouraging to know how it will look in time to come.

I pace my gardening because I can't stand to wake up with screaming muscles. Maybe it's the what, 30 years older than you that I am? I dig a little, prune a little, pull weeds a little and start over the same routine the next day. Eventually it all gets done.

Do you use post hole diggers for planting if you don't use the auger? Hole diggers are much easier on the back than a shovel and not so hard to use if you have good upper body strength.

Lion Tiger Bear said...

Your yard is really looking good even from the road! Great job on the plant bargains too. Planted my sweet olive between two figs in the back yard. It sure looks great. And you know we are going to get lots of rain tomorrow. I'm going to have to stop and see the River you call a creek.!!!!!!!!!!!!

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

@Nell...I am not sure age in relation to me...I will be 39 in April. I use a narrow shovel. We do have a post hole digger but I find the narrow shovel much better. Think post hole digger with only one side. The landscaping program is a free program that I downloaded...although I am seriously considering paying for the official version vs. the trial version...I have links throughout that shows the download.

@LionTigerBear....Tammy you scared me to death ...I had no idea who was talking to me...and knew where I lived, the creek, and the bargain sales...I looked up your profile and sighed.

I heard the camellia fest was a success..I couldn't manage to step away, but you want to hear something funny...the cd player in my greenhouse was on that had an Etta James cd in it.....The player doesn't auto repeat. Someone turned it didn't hear of anyone accidently wondering over the greenhouse? It would be an easy mistake given the proximity and the fact that it was a camellia fest and I had tons of camellias outside of the greenhouse. (I went back and got three more truck full of ornamentals.) It just really freaked me out that the player was on...strange I know....

Let me know how the sweet olive is supposed to smell great...however, my allergies won't let me smell much.

February 22, 2013 at 10:16 PM

NellJean said...

I like the narrow shovel, too. We call it a trenching spade. It's perfect for digging up large transplants. I first saw one in the garden of 'Miss Frankie' who sold daylilies. She was 91 when I was there and still digging, so I have hope for 20 more years before I keel over in the garden.

Janie Jurkiewicz said...

Nell you keep suggesting you are old