Thursday, May 14, 2009


Two days ago the bosses and I went plant shopping -- a good four hours of finding annuals and perennials for our extensive gardens. We hit two large nurseries in the process, and came home with a trailer load of goodies. This annual event is like binge-shopping

While at the nurseries, I watched the employees tending the plants and I thought, 'what a great job to have'. Reality set in and I realized MY JOB is so much more fabulous: the nursery employees nurture a billion young plants, and that's so important; but I get to selectively adopt plants, bring them home, find the right spot for them to live and grow and bring pleasure to lots of people, tend to them for years on end (the perennials, anyway), keep the beasts at bay (especially those darn japanese beetles) and grow a long-term relationship with them

Yesterday I began the planting: I put together 24 container gardens then began putting plants in the ground. I'd envisioned working until nightfall because we have SO MANY to plant! But, no matter how willing the spirit, the flesh just wouldn't last that long, so I had to give it up for the day. Ah, that's OK: I also can't eat a half gallon of ice cream in one sitting, nor have I ever been able to eat an elephant in one bite. This means, beautifully, that for the next very many days I will be planting, and planting, and planting . . .

Thursday, May 7, 2009


My first spring at this campground began on March 15, 2007. When I arrived from warm humid southwest Louisiana, it was COLD up here (Maryland) but I needed to get to work right away. There were a good three to four inches of leaves that obliterated all of the rock gardens, and those leaves needed to be removed. Because of all the plants and shrubs, it had to be done mostly by hand. As I worked (and it took a good three weeks) I noticed I was trampling on the new shoots under the leaves, of the season's first arrivals: the tulips and daffodils and crocuses and irises. I cringed every time I uncovered one of my victims! It all got done, though, and we had a great "crop" of flowers once the mountains of leaves were removed. It was a great and exciting first year at my new job of gardener/landscaper.

The following year I decided to wait until April 1st to arrive (I was remembering how cold it was the previous year and I was chicken). I arrived to find a young man had been hired to get the leaves out of the gardens, and he'd used a rake; had raked the gardens SO vigorously that some of the new young plants had been removed along with the leaves. Ah, well, life goes on, doesn't it. This particular spring was cold for a long, long time and it seemed forever before things poked their heads through the ground. Our planting season was slighty delayed due to the late-arriving spring, but the weather turned suddenly HOT and we really scurried to get new planting done quickly. Remembering how much time I'd spent watering during the last summer's drought, I laid soaker hoses in all the large gardens so that I could spend my time doing other things while the gardens were being watered. It worked well.

THIS year I returned in mid-March, wanting to be the one to do the garden cleanup. Yes, it was cold but I was being brave, and gardens were cleaned up without disturbing any plants. No trampling this year! However: the new experience is the rain! It's like living in a rain forest, I think. The ground has been thoroughly soaked down to about China. I have several new gardens in the works and I'm eager to build up the soil and get things planted in them, but the soil right now is like mud soup. No sooner does it begin to dry out and we get another four-hour deluge or all-day-and-night soaking steady rain. Temps have been cool, too -- good for tulips lasting a longer time than usual (until we had four days of freakish July weather which ended the tulip season), the nurseries have been slow in putting out their inventory due to the cool and wet, and we're behind schedule in creating our forty or so container gardens and almost as many hanging baskets. I'm just hoping for an extended spring so we can get all the work done before the really hot weather arrives for good.

Gee, I wonder what will be new and different NEXT spring!

Monday, May 4, 2009


Thinking more about what I said yesterday: years ago, I was a bricks-and-sticks homeowner because I had a family to raise, and that was part of the deal. So perhaps there are others in that boat, taking care of business in the best way for them. You know, the home site, the stability factor, giving the kids good roots and good memories for later. The stability factor is a big one, I think.

I'm just glad I now have the freedom to be unstable. LOL.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Yesterday a friend asked me if I ever get tired of living in a camper. Yeah, right! If he knew how I love housework (my idea of cleaning is to sweep the room with a glance), he'd know I never, ever want to go back to living in a real house!

A real house is for domesticated folks, folks who like having roots in one place, who dote on having lots of stuff to mess with. They probably enjoy dusting and sweeping and mopping. They must feel comforted by being surrounded by family heirlooms, or fine art. Many of them have serious collections of stuff that need to be displayed. There are lots of pictures on the walls, in every room. Of course they surely enjoy entertaining their friends.

Hey, you know I like all those things too. The only difference is, I'm not so domesticated; I'm at heart a feral animal. I like my roots to be nestled comfortably in different places at different times. I enjoy the heck out of cleaning THE GREAT OUTDOORS!! I love to dig up weeds, and rake leaves, and grow and tend to plants. Pressure washing is a really fun way to clean stuff. My family heirlooms and fine art are the trees and flowers, and the sounds of nature. My alarm clock is the birds in the morning, who seem so happy for the return of daylight. My pictures hang in my heart and on my computer. My collections of stuff are planted in the ground. The one thing I've never been good at is entertaining. I never learned how to host a party. I recently learned, however, that after five glasses of wine I am apparently very funny. I guess that's a form of entertaining.

Yep, I'm sure not regretting selling that house and all that stuff, because now I'm really free to live the way I want to live. It's all so good!