It was hot and sunny and delightful this weekend in Victoria. I gardened.
Well I did a bunch of stuff with the boys, got shot up in a Nerf war, did a bit of work; but mainly I gardened.
This house is blessed with a big garden. The bones were set down by the first Reeve of Oak Bay when he built the house in 1939. It has trees and 70 year old rhotos and a lot of falling down rock work.
I am the stoop labour.
There are wonderful raised beds out there somewhere beneath the grass, the ivy and the blackberry. So my gardening is all about excavation. Striping back literally decades of neglect to reveal… well, old, infertile, soil.
We lease the house from wonderful landlords and, with a bit of luck, we’ll have a couple of yards of topsoil and a yard of manure to dig into the beds I’ve revealed.
But, for the moment, it is strip, dig, screen the soil, move to the next five square feet.
On a warm day, with beer chilling, it is a very perfect afternoon. The boys will come out and tear up some ivy for a while and chat to Dad. I rest my back throwing a few football or frisbee passes. Susan, bless her soul, sends the little guy out with a refreshing beverage around 3:00 (and a reminder to wash my feet before coming inside to her clean floors).
My elder son, Sam, arrives with a plan to use his compressor to power a potato cannon. It sounds plausible, if extremely dangerous and deeply neighbour unfriendly. He scored an air powered stapler and headless pin driver at a garage sale and is blasting away in his workshop.
The hairy hound, much shorn due to the heat, is lightly tethered (deer and, more importantly, bunnies and squirrels) in deep shade a few feet away. He is a very social animal, never happier than when he is smelling distance from Dad. (A distance which increased as the afternoon wore on.)
At the end of the afternoon the hedges had been drip watered, one end of the veggie garden weeded, ivy trimmed from a Garry Oak, and about 15 square feet of overgrown rock walled raised bed cleared of vegetation. It does not sound like much but it was a 16×8 tarp full of debris.
I was dirty, smelly, a bit sun touched and very pleased with myself.