Gardening

With my internship at an end (last week) and my job hunting becoming desperate (in the last two weeks), I’ve unconsciously started to place my focus elsewhere. I write “unconsciously” because I didn’t realize how calm I’ve been until I started weeding and scourging the nearest nurseries for the appropriate plants and flowers.

Yes, in (another) attempt to beautify my yard, I’ve (yet again) picked up a shovel and rake to tackle “my” garden. I’ve tried to do so a year previously, but eventually I got too tired and lazy to care. As a result, I had planted carrots that never sprouted and allowed weeds to cultivate most copiously.

My grandparents hadn’t been amused.

Prior to last year, I lived with my grandparents and the garden had been theirs. It was both wonderful and heartbreaking. This is because the previous owner of the house had a beautiful peony garden, only to meet its tragic demise at the hands of my grandparents. Like the many older generation of Chinese people, my grandparents replaced all the beautiful flowers with something more practical: vegetables.

So for 10+ years, our garden had very little flowers, but a whole lot of tomatoes, bok choy, winter melons, Chinese greens, bitter melons, etc. There had been a lot of varieties, but the problem was that we could never eat it all – and I’m tired of a whole yard of vegetables.

In order to use my heart and body effectively (besides tending to my writing and potential career, of course), I’ve switched some of my energy to building a garden that’s both practical and beautiful. I’ve even allotted a corner for vegetables, which I spent a whole weekend finding tomatoes and romaine lettuce for. (The store didn’t open until 1pm – I went at 9am, 10am and 11am before I went home and tried again at 2pm!)

Mostly, I spent a lot of time deciding what flowers I want. (Of course I’m also writing!) The problem with my backyard is that half is partial-shade, and half is all sun. It completely frustrates me because partial-shade severely limits colourful plants and flowers. Half of my garden will be bright and beautiful, and the other a little dimmer and less floral. >_<

Not only that, but there are already existing plants on the partial-shade section that my grandmother doesn’t want me to touch just yet. This is fine with me since I’d rather plan for the sunny side first! ^_^

For the past week, I’ve decided that all the sunny-side of the yard will house bushes of peonies and roses! I will arrange it so that from May-June there will be peonies, and from July-August there will be roses (hopefully). (The blooming periods are dependent solely on information I Googled, so I can’t guarantee the flowers will be there when the time arrives.) For peonies, I’m sticking with the colours of white and light/soft pink/blush. For roses, I’m to have three different colours: light pink, yellow and coral. (I am feeling audacious and daring with my roses.)

All peonies and roses will be a different breed so that even if they share the same colour, they will not look the same!

Genius! (If I do say so myself!)

I’ve already started the gardening revamp project and got myself a climbing rose for the very back of my garden: an Eden Climber (the image above is this plant). The issue, however, is now the purchasing of the rest of the plants. Gardening is not for the frugal-hearted (i.e. me). In an attempt to curve possible heartbreak and wallet-malfunctioning, I’m going to work in stages, dividing the long plot into thirds and tackling the prettiest breeds of peonies and roses for the section most viewable from the house.

Since I’ve already invested a lot of time and brainpower into planning this (including purchasing 2 gardening books), I’m scared that, like last year, I’ll give up less than halfway through. By writing about this, I’m hoping to be accountable to both myself and perhaps (hopefully) to my readers.

I’ll try to post updates on my garden as often as possible! (Good new so far: my Eden Climber is not dead, and neither are my tomatoes and romaine lettuces! That’s already an improvement from last year! >_<)

甄雪清

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