Since returning home from the Borzoi Club of America’s National Specialty Show in Hunt Valley, Maryland one month ago, I have undertaken a vigorous project in which I expended enormous amounts of energy and no small amount of money, to create flower beds for gardens here at my new home, the new Blyss Kennels site. Since moving in five years ago, I left this in the hands of my landscaper but whatever he planted has died. It was mostly flowering bushes. I came to realize my soil needed to be enriched. There are two flower beds in question. One runs along the driveway in the front of the house, and the other runs along the fence line in the back yard. Both are very long, about 65 feet. I found an excellent supplier nearby that sold all kinds of soil products , enrichments, and mulches. They also sold masonry stones in a full range of styles, sizes and shapes. Somehow, my tiny frame, with the help of a new hand truck, managed to remove several forty pound bags of soil and fertilizer products each from the back of my SUV into the back and/or front gardens where they were needed. Also for the new garden in the back yard along the fence line, I wanted a paver block border. I required 70 paver stones. For this job, however, I was assisted by a highly skilled mason who will remain unnamed. There was no question I was in over my head with that one. The gentleman stepped in like Deus ex machina, and voila, it was done. It was my hope and prayer, at least for the back yard garden, that the borzois would respect it and leave the flowers alone. So far they have.
The plantings have consisted of impatiens, dahlias, daisies, lilies, and some lavender. I also have a supply of bulbs to be planted in the fall. I am planning to add calla lilies and irises. I am doing the back breaking work now for the splendid results I hope to see next spring. I may even try my hand at planting the flowering shrubbery my landscaper planted that died, hoping that this time they will live.
All of this was undertaken to take my mind off of my serious case of loneliness and resignation to its fate for my life. I am helpless to change it, and my efforts to do so have been pathetic, degrading, and leave me feeling worse. My own sister is not speaking to me. Having recently been accused of reminding her of an odious dead family member, and of not having “family values”, as if being a widow was my choice, she is off the hook for being expected to invite me to her summer home this year. She believes the “Women’s Movement” has been a failure, and has “hurt women”, and she lets me know it because she knows these are ideas I do not share with her. She accuses me of living in a bubble, but really, my hands are those that touch dirt or remove mats from dogs’ coats, and I never get manicures or face lifts like she does. I am happy being retired – very happy, in fact because I know how to live with less and she cannot, and she cannot abide that, either. I am grateful to my son for being on my side. A total of one! He and I went out for lunch last week in NY City to a French restaurant in the West Village called Buvette, and I loved it. I took an order of Tarte Tatin home for dessert. It was to die for.
So, it is still officially Spring. Today is the last day of Spring. It has been a good season. I went to the Borzoi National Specialty, and my sister-in-law accompanied me. We had a wonderful time there together. Then, I came home and set to work making gardens where there were none, or none that bore fruit. I am disappointed that my landscaper had not advised me better about the condition of my soil, and I am disappointed in myself for taking so long to figure it out. Next year, I will add more. That’s how it’s done. Every year, you add more strength and vigor to the beds, as we do to ourselves and the dogs. Add what is good for us, for the borzois, and the flowers, too.