Albuquerque · gardening · home improvement

The Joy of Dirt

Sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty.

I don’t mean that in any metaphorical sense. I mean getting your hands covered, fingernails to wrists and beyond, in good old-fashioned DIRT. Soil. The stuff you walk on.

One of my favorite things to do is plant things. Whether it’s scooping an already-started plant out of a plastic container and placing it carefully into the ground, or poking new seeds into place until I have a blackened fingertip, I love it. If I want visible, tangible evidence of hope and faith in the future, I need look no further than my own yard.

For our two-year dating anniversary, Robin Hood bought me 20 bags of potting soil. I nearly wept at the sight of them, stacked neatly in the backyard, just waiting to be poured and spread and put to productive use.

Yup, my fiancé knows me.

We waited until we were confident that there wouldn’t be any more freezes, and then we pounced. We picked a weekend, and thankfully, the temperatures and the wind cooperated (yard work, even merry planting, is no fun in a fierce gusting wind. It’s just not). After some idea-swapping and blessedly minimal arguing, we came up with a list of what we wanted to plant, and headed to Home Depot.

Where it soon became evident that half of Albuquerque had the same idea.

But I’m pleased to report that we didn’t get in any fights over plants – not even serrano peppers! We filled our cart, and went ahead and got some more soil, with Robin Hood noting “To figure out how much dirt you’ll actually need, take the amount you think you’ll need, and double it.”

The next day was D-Day! (Dirt Day? Digging Day? Whatever.) Before we planted, there was some prep work to do, by which I mean, of course, weed pulling. Not glamorous, but necessary.

I’ll take this time to say how fantastic it is to be marrying a man who does yard work with me. Having more than one pair of hands out there makes the work go SO much faster.

Once the yard was primed, it was time for the fun stuff. Our whiskey barrels, dormant so long with the remnants of last year’s garden, were replenished with peppers, tomatoes, succulents, and herbs. Our corner patch, which only this season we reclaimed from weeds, spiky goat-heads, and general ugliness, now contains squash and cucumber plants, lavender, and a…generous…amount of sunflower seeds. And our side yard, which until recently boasted only weeds, dirt, and more weeds? Now it’s watered daily in the hopes that various kinds of flower seeds will soon be sprouting forth.

I’m telling you, life is good.

I work at a job that involves a lot of staring at a computer screen. I run, but mostly through residential neighborhoods. And planning a wedding, unless you’re getting married in a forest, isn’t very effective for getting in touch with nature. Getting my hands dirty felt downright soothing. And refreshing. And humbling. Maybe those seeds will grow; maybe they won’t.

For now, I have faith, and for now, that will do.

Happy gardening to all of my fellow planters out there!



3 thoughts on “The Joy of Dirt

  1. I love gardening! My two year old joins in my obsession and proudly identifies and pulls weeds from sidewalk cracks when we go for walks. 😛 We planted sunflower seeds, too, this year. I hope they survive my kids!

  2. Yay! This is our third year attempting a veggie garden and, for us, it’s been a process of trial and error, learning something new every year. Hoping this is our year for a bountiful harvest, but if not, getting out in the fresh air and getting some dirt under our nails feels pretty good in and of itself.

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