I spent three hours out in the garden this afternoon, and my arms feel like rubber. I don’t know what my legs feel like, but I know I’m not looking forward to walking tomorrow. Even the muscles in my butt hurt. This is because Friday afternoon my landlord came and pulled those bush stumps out with his truck and a lot of chains. It was rather wonderful. I came home from work, and they were just gone, like magic. I was so delighted I could have kissed him. Except I probably wouldn’t. It’s the mustache. And the wife. And that he’s old enough to be my father. Plus there’s the total lack of any actual desire to kiss him. But still.
This whole bush-removal thing ended up turning into quite the saga. As you may recall, Atlas had made a small attempt at digging out the stumps last Sunday, but realized that he didn’t have the right tools for the job (just a spade wasn’t going to cut it), and that, since he had come straight from his Army National Guard training weekend, he was too exhausted to really try. On Wednesday he came back again, this time armed with something that looked like a trowel, except sword size, and a crowbar sort of thing as tall as he was, all iron, with a weighted knob at one end, and a blade at the other. He also brought with him one of his Army buddies, a young man even more fit than Atlas (who coaches wrestling for one of the local high schools), with arms that would make Pippi swoon. Between the two of them, they were sure that they could whip this thing out of the ground, no problem.
And, well, they tried. They dug, and cut, and levered, and made the ground shake with their blows. The stump sat there smugly and did not budge. It mocked them. Once they got enough dirt away, they discovered that what looked like four smaller stumps above ground merged into one huge stump about the diameter of a salad plate below ground. And that was the smaller of the two bushes. Still they worked on it, until eventually they had to admit defeat, the stump still essentially intact. Atlas’s friend suggested that perhaps I should look into renting a stump grinder. I thought despairingly of the cost of renting large equipment, and said I would think about it.
After about a day weighing my options, I called my landlord, and mentioned that I really, really would like those stumps gone. He said cheerfully that he’d take care of it right away, that since it had been raining all day it should be no problem. And when I came home form work, they were gone. Just like that.
Today I went out after I got home from our Mothers Day brunch (love you, Mom!), and started work. I dug out huge holes where I wanted my roses to be, unearthing enough stones for an edging, and some really huge roots in the process, dug in some peat moss, and planted my roses. The pink climbing rose is at the outside corner where I will train it up the house, and the white bush is in the inside corner. I planted snapdragons between them, and scattered three packets of mixed flowers. At one point in there I got totally distracted, and also pruned the nearby lilac bush. I thought about digging out the beginning of what I hope will be my berry bed so that I can plant the strawberry plants I got last Friday, but by that point I was starting to get clumsy from fatigue, and I knew I needed to go in. So I just watered my plants well, put everything away, and went in.
I think I will sleep very well tonight.