If you know me or have read an earlier post from this year, then you know I broke several vertebrae and ribs in a riding accident this past spring. As you can imagine, for months now my gardening has been limited to dead-heading my roses and little else.
Pilates classes three times a week have been my saving grace. After just two months of perserverence, my flexibility has improved and so has my strength. I still refrain from lifting heavy weights, but this weekend I did dome digging and planting for the first time in nearly seven months, and I feel great!
After a good rain, the clay soil was soft. I started out simple by planting some honeysuckle clippings in shallow holes made with a hoe. It was just a baby step, but so rewarding!
The next day, I had no pain, so I tried digging deeper holes with a shovel to plant ivy, cerastium and salvia along the south-east side of our property, which is really an eyesore. The following photo was taken from our kitchen porch, where you can see the neighboring property - a bank foreclosure (lots of those around here).
A picture worth a thousand words! Here you can see the mechanics involved in gardening in La Mancha: clay that is so hard that it cannot be dug - instead it is chipped away at with a pick-axe (when dry) or "sliced" with a shovel (when wet); chicken wire along the perimeter fence to keep the rabbits out, plus chicken wire cylinders around all susceptible plants (see bottoms of cypreses); soil ammendments; drip irrigation so everything survives.
Below, things are starting to look better already with new ivy, more teucrium and compost. The salvia in the center looks huge because it was still stuck in its pot.
This is how it is starting to look from the living room balcony. I am exhausted (didn't even clean up after myself), but so excited to see some green in this barren part of the yard!
Just a few baby steps, but I’m in no hurry…