Elbow-deep in beautiful dirt
Some of the nicest things I've heard recently: "It really looks like your place, now" (from my lover) and "We love what you've done here! This is your work, isn't it?" (from the across-the-street neighbours, being wonderful & neighbourly during the black-out). Yes, my front yard is going really, really well. The italian lavender is producing masses of new flower-heads, the recently-tamed jasmine has started sending seeker-tendrils around the porch railing, the daisies and grevilleas my mum & I planted down the side are beginning to flower already, and my succulents are looking glossy & gorgeous in an assortment of re-purposed pots (old coffee tins and old boots and such). I've set up a 'nursery' of little pots along my window ledge, filled with the 'babies' (pups, technically) that spring off the bigger succulents, and all of them are growing well.
I get so much joy out of coming home and seeing my front garden & porch thriving. Finding treasures, like the completely random red flower growing on the white daisy bush, or noticing that the nasturtium seedlings are pushing up already. Checking on the progress of everything, my eyes filled with visions of what is still to come (I'm forming spring ambitions to do with tomatoes and hanging baskets). And deciding where to place a night-blooming jasmine, evicted from my lover's garden by an unsympathetic landlord- on the last free edge of the porch, I think.
The backyard is the ugly child now, the problem. I wander out there and stand with a faint scowl and a cup of tea, pondering how to fix it. How to get colour into the shade, how to even out the messy, stop-gap landscaping efforts, how to rescue the work of the last gardener who lived here (some time ago, by the state of things). I've lined up some glossy vines against the tumble-down fence, and the table is covered with potted plants waiting for some good structure to be displayed on. I think that there will be impatiens under the messy shrubs in the garden bed, and probably a japanese maple in a pot in the corner where the fences and walls don't quite meet up.
This is what fills up my brain when I'm stupidly busy with system administration training, with double shifts and long work weeks and networking like a corporate motherfucker. Suddenly I understand why all the full-time worker bees spend their Saturdays at Bunnings or at the flower shop- it's almost desperate, this need to have Home be a safe and beautiful place to sink time into. And all the effort, all the 'coming home from work and doing work' is worth it because this work creates something gorgeous, just to be enjoyed. I don't think I'll be able to give up the pleasure of this, ever again.