Last week I was on a stay-cation with my husband. While we wanted to take some day trips to some area parks. zoo, and other local stops that we don't have time for in our regular life, we also wanted to try a small "gardening" project too.
We live on a corner lot with very steep hills that are six to eight feet deep and have mowed these hills for all the years we've lived here. These hills have claimed many hours of mowing time, two gas mowers and one people powered reel mower. This summer, it's our hope to try something new on these hills.
We did the research on landscaping options, we consulted with a local nursery on what to plant, and we got our supplies in hand:
Four flats of ivy
Six bags of black mulch
Two pair of gardening gloves
A hand tiller
Black weed blocking material - one roll
Two days to try out our experiment
Over the two days, we removed by hand the top sod layer, tilled the soil under by hand, removed the stones and weeds, laid the black fabric, placed our plants and laid the black mulch on top.
At the end of the project with a twenty foot section of the hill, we had blisters, sunburn and a happy little corner of hill that is filled with baby ivy plants that are beginning to take root and grow. Over the first two days the plants were in, we experienced torrential thunderstorms that we feared would wash our work away - but thankfully so far the mulch and plants are staying put and perking up in their new home.
Our hope is that new ivy plants, and the ones we continue to add, will cover the entire hill section on the two corners of our lot to reduce mowing AND have it look beautiful.
The process of this project coming to fruition took a long time to come to pass. For over a decade we struggled with the hills and kept doing the same thing to mow the grass. We invested time, tools and lots of sweat equity - but the hill, grass and frustration remained the same. Finally, we realized that we needed to remove what was growing - and plant something new.
Our project is still in it's testing stage and we are not sure how it will turn out, but our hope is that this ivy (this new plant) will take root, grow and become an asset to our yard instead of being a pain in the ass like the previous grass was. Sometimes, you just have to plant something new, even if you get blisters and sunburn in the process.
Life is a lot like the hills on our lot. We look at how steep they are and bemoan that things will never change. We mow the hills and sweat. We break tools that aren't suited to the environment and wonder why they don't work - we long for change, but rarely look for new things to plant in our corner of the world.
I think the advice to plant something new is helpful to many areas of our lives. We all have hills that seem too steep to climb. We all have environments that need change. We all have embankments that need ivy planted on them. We all need to plant something new - or have something new planted in us.
For fun, for growth and for change, I'm gonna go dig something up and plant something new. How about you?