Friday, July 9, 2010

Belated Garden Thursday

In Which Sheila Details A Tragedy That Befell Her Back

I've missed a couple of Garden Thursdays, haven't I? Well, this week it was because, very tragically, I did something to my back. I don't know what, but something is pulled or torn or strained. I was trying to pour the contents of a 5 gallon pail onto something several feet away from me and up over a brick wall. There I was, leaning over the wall, keeping my bucket of fish fertilizer aloft, trying to pour it, when I heard a distinct PING in my lower back. Did I drop the bucket immediately? Did I think "Oops, better set this down carefully and walk away?" Did I stop doing what I was doing?

No, I did not. (that's because you are an idiot, Sheila - you think you're Lara Croft Tomb Raider, and it causes you to do incredibly stupid things despite the fact that you never go to a gym and you're not in incredibly excellent shape)

I kept pouring, albeit more carefully, until the pain in my back got so bad I had to bail. So I poured the contents of that bucket of fish fertilizer mostly on my sandals (stay tuned for Toe-Nail Growth Updates) because I couldn't move very well and I had to get that bucket out of my hands. Then I hobbled inside and sat down. And thought "Oh no, I've reached that time in my life when everything I do unleashes a strain or a twinge or a rip or an ache." There might have been a few $#&'s and **@'s and even one or two $#&@'s in there as well, not to mention a brief & interesting perusal of my very dirty feet, but being the good Jane Austen heroine that I am I will refrain from being too explicit. Suffice to say that I felt old and very very feeble.

And so, I've been kind of sitting around all week. Barely any walking, no driving, and no - gasp - gardening. Well, no gardening other than turning on taps and things. Thankfully the garden is on soaker hoses and timers and the World Cup is on. I've been making careful notes of Who Has Good Hair (Forlan) and Who Has Truly Bad Hair (Messi, Puyol). Among other things.

But yesterday I felt considerably better so I went out and picked up my order of lemon trees. Yes, you heard correctly. I am going to grow lemon trees. A fellow over the way grows them in his back yard - at least a hundred of them - along with limes, kumquats, mandarins, and oranges. He even has a guava or two. And that's not even mentioning the hundreds of apples, plums, cherries, and berries he has growing, staked and espaliered and cordoned. It's shockingly impressive. Even better, each spring he brings in an order of fruit trees to sell, which is how I ended up with two Meyer lemon trees (I'd wanted an orange but they never came in).

Here is one lemon. A happy lemon, as Dominic says. Hopefully it will be so happy I will get the crop my friend gets. At the very least get the flowers - the scent of those alone would be delightful.

And luckily some of the apple trees are doing well. This Gravenstein never got hit by the LGW (little green worms) and I don't see any signs of codling moth either.

The Crown Princess Margareta. I give her a martini every night and a glass of champagne on Sundays and so far she's quite happy.

I'm quite taken with how this Blue Star Creeper crept into the Irish Moss.

Poppies with lovely raggedy petals.

The one hybrid tea I've not been neglecting: Strike It Rich.

And here's another reason I've been forgetting my usual blogging habits. It's been really really hot here this week. Unusually hot. So hot we've broken records (35ºC on our deck yesterday) in town. Richard the Pool Boy set up the little pool and everyone's been happy. The twins play Make Wave games, games, Blow Bubbles On The Other Person's Back games, Go Underwater And Look At Each Other games, Fling The LegoMan games, and Run Wildly Around The Outside Edge Of The Pool Until There Is A Massive Current Then Plop Down And Ride The Current games. And in between we've been eating home-made ice cream sandwiches (using Hob Nobs and even Chocolate Covered Digestives), home-made fruit pops (blend together nectarines and strawberries and freeze in popsicle molds), and iced tea. Very very pleasant.


Mrs. Deeply Suburban said...

Oh Lara, I mean Sheila, how awful for you. But don't be sitting around--lie around or hobble around, but sitting is deadly, I find. Mr. D*S watched the whole '88 Summer Olympics flat on his back on a bag of ice.

The rest of the scene sounds so idyllic and joyful. Muggy, sticky, and suffocating is what we have here, with a side of noisy on account of the AC going full time. But our tomatoes suddenly look amazing.

sheila said...

Oh you're so sweet to cater to me and my idiotic self-imagery. I think you're right about the sitting, though: I've been lying on my stomach with frozen gel packs on my back and I can already see a difference. Harder to watch those soccer boys...

It must be weird to be in the land of the AC machine after the West Coast, eh? I hope it's all going well on the home front. I also hope you can move back here one day.It would be nice to garden together.

Rebecca said...

McKenzie Method.

I take it you got my blah-de-blah voice mail...

If you can handle the idea of Advil, it will be your friend, too.

Hope you feel better soon. Get someone else to do the vacuuming for a few months.

sheila said...

I did! You're so nice! I've actually been lying on my stomach all afternoon. It's a good stretch.

I am somewhat abashed to admit this but I don't actually do ANY vacuuming...sigh. I know, I am a House Diva.

Anonymous said...

Sheila, I can completely empathise as I have had a milder version of back strain myself recently. Resting is good. I just wish I could write about my life as entertainingly as you do.
Hob nob ice cream sandwiches are definitely sounding good. When I try to make these things myself, the cookie part usually breaks everywhere, so next time I am at the Mediterranean Market I will pick up a pack.

Andrea said...

I want a lemon tree!!!

sheila said...

Nicola, my only tip is make sure the ice cream is slightly soft - then it does a nice little mound on one cookie half. Lightly pop the other half on, freeze til firm, then add the chocolate. Do you have vegan chocolate?

Andrea, we can share: my lemon tree and your sheep!

Heather said...

Hope your back is feeling better soon and that you and your bucket of fish fertilizer at back at it in no time. Not fun to have back pain at any time but somehow summertime seems like it would be the worst. The things you do for your garden, heh? You'd think the least it could do in return is lay off the weeds for awhile.

I used to Love the Run Wildly Around The Outside Edge Of The Pool Until There Is A Massive Current Then Plop Down And Ride The Current game. Such a fun way to pass a hot day.

If you do spot any sign of coddling moth I have a recipe (somewhere) a friend gave me for a sticky, smelly math catcher goop. Let me know if you need it.

Rebecca said...

BTW, I love that pool. I don't like most plastic pools but that one looks decent. Where did your pool boy procure it from?

Dilicch: Those ice cream sandwiches were sure dilicch.

sheila said...

Heather, I would like to hear what signs I should be looking for. I know about the chewed apples but is there anything before that happens?

Rebecca, it came from that National Emporium of All Things Canadian: Canadian Tire. Cheaper than your tugo, too. Tuareg. Tildo. Tudbo. Toobot. Oh, whatever that thing was called. I'd better look it up or it's going to drive me nuts all night...

It needs an extremely flat surface. And you'll need to get a leg up on Pool Chemicals which can be mildly exhausting.