Garden of Envy

Since my blatant disregard for Father’s Day led me to a delightful day of garden hopping, I’ve experienced something that I’ve never felt before: envy.

Oh, who am I kidding? I’m jealous of everyone. This is what I usually look like at Christmas:

Me loving my present but wishing that I could have Ben's present, too.
Me loving my present but wishing that I could have Ben’s present, too.

I am one of the grabbiest people I know. And so, as it often does, envy has driven me to embark on a most outrageous project. I am trying to create a woodland garden like the ones I saw on the garden tour.

I want the aroma of summer sweet flowers wafting in the air as I sit by the vernal pool. I want birdsong and frog song to serenade me as I walk along, my feet luxuriating in the soft, forest floor. I want a place for vignettes and garden gnomes and quirky, flea market finds (like it says in the magazines and on the HGTV shows).

In short, I want a woodland garden worthy of this guy:

BLOG GT Humpty Dumpty close

For the past week and a half, I’ve been clearing brush and digging muck and experimenting with all manner of ways to mutilate and remove skunk cabbage. Here is what I’ve learned:

1. If it grows on a vine, no matter how many leaves it has and regardless of whether or not those leaves are shiny, I am probably violently allergic to it.

2. There comes a time in every poison ivy victim’s life where she will want to sever her afflicted arms and rip her own face off. With extra doses of Benadryl and generous slatherings of hydrocortisone, those impulses will pass, and so they are best not indulged in the heat of passion.

3. Due to the evil nature of muck, no matter how much muck you shovel, there will always be more muck.

4. Dogs don’t like it when you’re on one side of the fence and they’re on the other.

Sarge wants to come too

5. Physical labor is really quite difficult and so if you can hire an 18-year-old football player to help you, you should do that. Thanks, Wyatt!

6. Keep telling your husband that your efforts are for him, for Father’s Day, and he won’t mind at all that the dishes are piling up and the dust bunnies are coming to life inside the house as you ignore them in favor of your outdoor project, which you really know is for this guy:

 BLOG GT Humpty Dumpty close

Enjoy every minute of the heat, the mosquitoes, the poison vines, all of it. Because this is the alternative:

My house

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Author: kristinrusso

Writer, teacher, insatiable reader

6 thoughts on “Garden of Envy”

  1. Kristin, your garden in the woods is wonderful; it reminds me of the forest primeval! You worked hard and it paid off, but are the fairies and wood sprites okay with it?

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    1. The fairies and the wood sprites are perfectly happy. It’s Aine I’m worried about. Did you know she’s the summer goddess of love and light? I’m pretty sure she’s going to like it, too.

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  2. That’s it, it’s nettle that got you! Shades of Ireland! You’d think we would have learned our lesson and not mess with Aine’s sanctuary.

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  3. Creating a woodland garden is hard! There are weeds here the size of which I never knew existed.. taller than me. That may be a soft target for a human but it’s really going some for a weed! And then there’s the critters. Be prepared for everything you plant to get eaten and then your expectations will be set about right. But we will do it and so will you. You sound determined. Good luck!

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    1. It’s true, woodland gardening is tough, but it’s so addicting. Whenever I’m out there, I feel restless and want to start a new little project as part of the bigger one. Right now, we’re not planting new things, just pushing back on overgrowth to showcase what we like that’s already there. We found a Japanese maple that has potential to really be something, a wild blueberry bush, and a few swamp azalea bushes that right now smell like perfume. Gorgeous. I’m having a great time reading your rusty duck stories. Have fun!

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      1. That sounds very exciting. Finding good stuff is a real bonus. My pride and joy happens in May when the woodland floor erupts in English bluebells. The rest of the year it’s all fallen and rotting trees, thickets of elder saplings, ground elder and stinging nettles. No poison ivy though..

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