Happy gardening

Zappa liked the cooling, crumbling concrete

Actually I am not ‘the’ gardener, don’t have a green thumb nor the required patience…usually! 2020 was different. I discovered the joy of having flowers around and to take interest in rose slugs (sawfly) who were determined to eat all the roses I had planted. The little green patch in my yard had been a mess for years, waiting to be transformed. Well, this summer I finally had some extra time on my hands — thank you COVID-19 — and raised the motivation and energy together with my partner and we started buying plants, rose bushes, oleanders, lavender, hibiscus, bougainvillea, and others that I can’t remember the names.


The rescued lemon verbena finally showing its beauty

Plants that were native to Spain though as they needed to survive the massive heat and sunshine. In another corner of the yard a few old pots with various succulents, left by the previous house owner, were quietly persisting. They also seemed in need of a revival and I happily obliged. Succulents are fascinating and beautiful plants with thick fleshy leaves (to store water) native to semiarid places. No wonder they survived, forgotten and left to their own devices in my yard. Perfect!

The messy green patch before

The only beauty in that corner was the grapevine

So we got to work and started with the least difficult part; mixing old and new soil, sieving roots and small stones and replanting our booty into new clay pots. At first that’s where we thought to end. However, the garden bug got me and being a designer, I had the urge to create, arrange and compose even more. As a result we hacked away old crumbling concrete, made a small wall out of sharp rocks and calc mortar experimenting with quantities to get the right consistency, and heaved huge single rocks around to their new place. Some leftover floor heating tubes and a long crowbar came in handy for that. Although I hate my overfull workshop, sometimes its contents are actually valuable.

The workers Zappa and Tomkins after a hard working day!

Now that the garden patch had colour, pots were arranged and stones in place, the dirty wall and ugly brown workshop gate stood out as an eyesore even more. Soooo, the little garden project expanded further and we found ourselves with buckets of paint and big round brushes splashing and pressing the white into this uneven rocky wall. The gate was a bit more tricky with its nooks that had to be sanded and then painted in several steps over several days. However it was worth it… this big bright red rectangle made the yard composition just right and very satisfying.

The final arrangement

The red turned out to be much brighter than i expected

What did I learn from this unexpected adventure? That enjoying little things, connecting with nature in any way, and getting your hands dirty are still incredibly powerful emotions, especially in this crazy 2021!

Bette(r) Days celebrates the things that did not suck in 2020. Each day in December, we’ll be posting about the highlights of our collective garbage fire of a year, type-related or not.