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Reveal Day!


Something interesting happened on Friday. Besides Jen coming over to happily renovate my garden, that is.

Are you sitting down?

I helped her (well, as much as she would let me), and I HAD FUN.

I know. I can’t believe it either.

I was ready to live-blog the heck out of Friday. I was looking forward to Jen’s visit but not the gardening part. The level of complaining I had assumed I’d reach would have been epic. It would have made great material. My post would have been titled “The Angry Gardener.”

Alas, I tweeted a few times and just…went with it.

Although I am not suddenly going to be found outside in the dirt on a regular basis from now on, I learned that, similar to when I tell people who claim they hate exercise that they haven’t found the right exercise for them yet, there are circumstances under which gardening is bearable for me. Well, there is ONE circumstance under which gardening is bearable for me. Gardening is bearable for me–and fun, even–when I do it with Jen. Period.

What I hate about gardening in general:
~Being out in the heat
~Getting dirty

What was fun about gardening with Jen:
~Jen is hilarious
~Chatting with a friend seemed to make the time go by faster
~Having guidance from an on-site gardening expert made the process more exciting
~Jen is hilarious (worth repeating)

My tweets:

“Let’s get our garden on!” ~@thenextmartha

You should see the fun @thenextmartha and I are having, ripping the river rocks out! #gardeningwithjen

Putting rocks back along the garden edge. @thenextmartha: “Yeah, I’m gonna have to ask you to stop.” #gardeningwithjen

Me: “We could get Jimmy Johns delivered but it’s not far so I can go.” @TheNextMartha: “Yeah, because I don’t need you.” #gardeningwithjen

That’s it. I spent the rest of the time working.

About those river rocks, by the way: the first thing Jen started doing was ripping out the rock border and re-edging the whole area. She said, grinning, “I bet you didn’t know this was on my to-do list today, did you?” It made a huge difference immediately. I helped a little bit with that (but not much, because she was serious about wanting me to stop) and then shoveled some new dirt in the garden to level things out a little bit.

Jen started placing plants (including a bunch that she was kind enough to bring from her own garden) on top of the dirt so she could determine how things were going to look, and then she gave me a short list of plants that she wanted me to get, to add some color. I ran out to the store (she made me!) to get the plants and some limestone stepping stones while she continued working.

When I returned home she had most of the plants in the ground and had already started spreading the mulch on either end of the space (after placing newspaper–instead of weed barrier–on top of the dirt). I helped get the new plants into the ground and we finished putting newspaper and mulch down and then…just stared at the garden. It was a huge “Wow” moment.

Wait, why don’t I give you a “Wow” moment, too?

Here’s the “Before” (remember, I had to draw it because I didn’t take a picture):

Here’s how the “garden” (and I use that term loosely) looked when Jen finished some of the prep work earlier in the week:

Are you ready?

Aren’t you excited?

Okay, take off your blindfold and open your eyes! (That’s a “Clean House” reference. Waving to Lisa!)

I keep walking by the front window to make sure it’s still there. Wouldn’t you??

Many of the plants we removed from my original “garden” are going to be repurposed on the side of the house which–this shouldn’t be a surprise to you–needs lots of attention. I need to get that going today but I anticipate feeling lonely. I wonder if Jen is busy…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • As Cape Cod Turns May 20, 2012, 8:28 am

    Yay! That looks amazing!! Yay for friends that would help you garden! I mean that is a serious friend KEEPER!

    Newspaper under the mulch, huh? Does it matter if it’s the sports section or the home and garden section?

    • Melisa May 20, 2012, 11:52 am

      Hmm. She didn’t seem to discriminate but I should ask. I’ll get back to you!

  • Tara R. May 20, 2012, 8:42 am

    Oooohhhh…. Aaaahhhh… it’s beautiful! You and Jen did a fabulous job.

    • Melisa May 20, 2012, 11:53 am

      Let’s be honest. It was mostly Jen.

  • Liz May 20, 2012, 8:44 am

    Well done ladies, well done!

    • Melisa May 20, 2012, 11:54 am

      Come ova’! GARDEN PARTY!

  • Shannon May 20, 2012, 9:03 am

    It looks really good! And is Jen available for hire at a special blogger rate?

    • Melisa May 20, 2012, 11:55 am

      I can’t speak for her but I do know that she enjoys pie.

  • tracey May 20, 2012, 9:33 am

    Nice work, ladies. Jen, I have tons of volunteer roses of sharon that need to be pulled if’n you’re feeling bored this summer. 😉

    • Melisa May 20, 2012, 11:55 am

      I’ll come and watch!

  • Grandma W May 20, 2012, 10:02 am

    OMG what a difference she is great and I can’t believe it is the same house. Oh I guess Jules helped right!! HA HA

    You guys really needed that help on the front of the house.

    Love Grandma W

    • Melisa May 20, 2012, 11:56 am

      Um, no. Julie stayed in the house, giving us lots of moral support. 🙂

  • TheNextMartha May 20, 2012, 10:12 am

    When we doing the side?

    • Melisa May 20, 2012, 11:16 am

      This shiz is going down RIGHT NOW.

  • megryansmom May 20, 2012, 10:30 am

    How bout a rundown of whatcha got growing there now. It’s beautious!

    • Melisa May 20, 2012, 12:00 pm

      Well, I have some zebra grass in the back left corner (looking wimpy at the moment because it got too dry while waiting to be replanted), two annabelle hydrangeas in the back center, a pink knockout rose to the right of that, and a Rose of Sharon all the way in the back, far right with a generic evergreen bush in front of that. There are lamb’s ears in the front and a couple of hostas to the left of the evergreen bush. Happy Returns daylillies to the right of the stepping stones, mini grasses on the far left and right front corners, and something I can’t remember (catmint?) to the right of the climbing rose on the left side…

  • houseofJules May 20, 2012, 11:16 am

    HAHA! I love mom’s comment. This looks AMAZEBALLS and if there was one person who could *tempt* me into losing my bet to Jim about never doing yardwork, it’s Jen…because she really is that awesome.

    • Melisa May 20, 2012, 12:01 pm

      I know, right? The only thing that would have made Friday better was cotton candy. Oh, and a landscaper so Jen and I could have sat in the shade, chatting. 🙂

  • Momo Fali May 20, 2012, 4:42 pm

    You know what I need? A Garden Wagon!

    That is so awesome! I can’t believe how much work she did!

  • DaddysFishBowl May 22, 2012, 10:16 am

    NICE!!!! Can we borrow Jen???

  • Patty May 25, 2012, 8:10 am

    WOW! That is some impressive garden! Nice job! 🙂