From the Series: Life on Dog Hill
It’s that time of year in North Carolina when I become a full-time gardener and part-time everything else. Although I’m still waiting for the green leaves on the trees to unfurl, there’s much to do in a zone seven garden. Pruning, transplanting, weeding, feeding, raking, mulching, hardscaping, and planting annuals in pots and perennial beds for added color.
Last week I wrote about how I found weeding therapeutic. The truth is, I find all of gardening to be therapeutic. In fact, I can’t think of a better place to be on a beautiful spring day, which could explain why I almost always have dirt under my nails. I refuse to wear gloves because I like the feel the earth in my hands.
It’s All About the Tools
A couple of days ago, a huge dump truck left fifteen yards of beautiful mulch at the bottom of the drive for me. Nothing that my John Deere 2210 can’t handle. I’ll spend a couple of hours moving the mulch from the pile to the various places in the yard where it’s needed. I love how neat and tidy everything looks after spreading mulch and blowing the drive and sidewalk to make it all picture perfect.
I’ve gotta confess; my tractor is my all-time favorite garden tool, and I’ve blogged about my tractor-love before. It’s fixing the dang thing that I’m still working on. Just ask SB, my tractor man.
SB has been rescuing me for several years now. My emergency 9SB calls go something like this:
Me: Hi SB, how ya doin’? This is Sheila Callaham in Chapel Hill; you know the one on the hill with the John Deere tractor.
SB: Oh yeah, how ya doin’ Sheila.
Me: Well SB, you know when I call you that I’m not doing too good. I can’t get my tractor started. Can you come over and help me out?
SB: Is the tractor somewhere where I can pick it up and bring it to the shop?
Me: Well, no SB. It’s stuck on the back part of the lot where no vehicle can get to it. Can you just come out and fix it on site?
Of course, SB rescues me without fail. He’s good like that. The last time I dialed 9SB, I needed a new battery and a fuel filter. I came out just as SB was coming back with the goods. As always I watched what he did, and asked lots of questions. When he began to put everything back into place, he’d secure one side, and I’d secure the other.
“You know you need to be schooling me on this SB,” I told him. “There’s no reason why I shouldn’t learn to fix my tractor myself. It’s just that I never know how to diagnose the problem!”
“I reckon you’ll just have to keep calling me then,” SB said with a smile.
I’ll be gardening full time for the next week or so, but when I’m done everything will be Southern Living quality. Then it will be time to find a comfortable place in the garden to sit and toast Mother Nature for another outstanding year and productive partnership.