Gardening is hard work. It is dirty work. There is little point in wearing fancy duds. There is definitely no room for manicures in my life during the gardening season; pedicures, yes, if only to hide the dirt under my toenails. A manicure would probably last all of one day with the constant digging in the garden so that would not be money well spent.
I own a plethora of garden themed t-shirts, all slightly oversized to provide ample room for bending and stretching. They are also great for wiping your hands off when they get dirty or wiping the sweat off my brow on hot days. I have always been hard on my clothes, but these shirts and shorts can handle the dirt and abuse I put them through.
With most of the trees and shrubs in place as the backbone of my garden I am now looking for annuals and perennials to start fill in gaps. I am taking my time. I need plants that will work for years to come and not just any cultivar will do. While I enjoyed the plain old purple cone flowers in my last garden, today you can find a variety of these hardworking plants in different sizes and colors. I came across a variety named ‘powwow wild berry’ in bold pink which stays rather low at 18”. I bought seven of them, to be planted in three different spots. I put two each on either side of a large bed and three in another bed. I inter-planted the annual lobelia 'sky blue' around these plants and the contrasting blue and hot pink makes for a nice combination.
Around the garden you will find some furniture as well. A very comfortable chair and ottoman sit at the base of the pond. It’s a perfect place to observe frogs in the afternoon in the shade of the silver maple tree.
A comfortable bench can be found across the bridge at the large pond, giving me another view of the garden and the back side of the house. It’s a good place to read the paper early in the morning and watch the fish swim back and forth, hoping I will throw another handful of fish food in the water. Adjacent to the back of the house is a gravel patio with the main seating area. It is shaded by an awning and almost always subject to a nice breeze. I am thinking of adding one more sitting area in the back corner of the garden. With my back towards the neighbors it will have a view of the sloping garden (the backside of the waterfall) and the retaining wall. All these seating areas provide different viewpoints of the garden. They are places for this gardener – and the under gardener, The Spouse – to sit and relax after digging all those holes for new plants, small and large. After all, what’s the hurry, in retirement I can garden nearly each and every day. I can get as grubby as I want, hose myself off as needed and plop down in comfortable spots to view my domain or read a book. What a life!