Diggin’ Dirt

Sunday, May 16, 2010
Diggin’ Dirt

I have been wanting to expand this flower bed for a while and I decided today was the day. The Irises planted there came from my Grandmother’s garden. She has been gone 25 years now, but it seems like only yesterday for me.

She was someone real special in my book and these flowers are like a house warming gift from her. Thanks to my cousin John who saved bulbs from her original flowers they can be shared and loved with other family members.

On a cold and wet day late last fall Sonny and I quickly dug a bed and planted these bulbs. It was such a shoddy job that I prayed they would survive. At the time we were not sure when we would be back out here and winter was fast approaching. I was so excited when I saw the green leaves sprout up earlier this Spring and now the proud purple blooms that are atop strong stems. But as pretty as they are the old flower bed didn’t do them justice.

If you know anything about West Virginia you know that it is a rock farmer’s paradise. Digging this bed would not be for the faint of heart. So equipped with my spade, wheel barrow, and hoe I dug in. I peeled off the layer of grass first. It can be used later to fill in bare spots in our yard. Then I turned the soil with my spade. Sounds easy but each dig scraped and crunched against stones that ranged in size from marbles to near softballs. That was the first layer. The next thing was breaking up the hard clay and rock under that. Since I am no longer a spritely chicken (truth be told if I was a laying hen I would already be in the pot) I took frequent rests on the porch swing. It took all day but now the Irises are flanked on both sides with soft beds waiting for new plants.

The work was hard but anything of worth is. I slept well that night. It was a sleep of exhausted satisfaction. I think my Grandmother would be proud and happy that her beautiful Irises still live on.


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