Gardening and Gallbladders

I knew it was going to pour here on Saturday for most of the day. So when I woke up and looked out the window, saw it was overcast but dry, I passed on running with the group to finish planting the shrubs I had bought the weekend before. With the help of a young, knowledgeable man at a local nursery, I bought four Andromeda shrubs which, he assured me, would do well in the shady area along the back of my yard. I had planted a lace Hydrangea, given to me by my neighbor, smack in the middle of the area along the fence line a couple of weeks ago. At the time, I didn’t have a plan and thought I’d just fill in the space with something green on either side of the flowering shrub when I got around to it.

Now, with the intent of creating an Andromeda screen to provide some privacy between my neighbor and me I needed to uproot the Hydrangea and move it elsewhere. That. That right there is why I’ve shied away from gardening for years. The task of digging something up from plot A and replanting it in plot B stops me cold. I’m always afraid I’m doing something wrong, afraid I’m planting a tree where a shrub should be or a flower where a tree should go. I confessed this to the nice young man at the nursery but I don’t think he understood; he basically said “don’t sweat it,” and swiped my credit card through the machine. Of course I’m going to sweat it; I sweat most things and gardening tops the list.

I planted two of the shrubs one night during the week, digging the second hole in the dark. Saturday was the first chance I had to finish the job. As I worked it started to sprinkle then drizzle; before long I was digging and planting in a steady rain. I wore short sleeves and torn jeans and my exposed skin got dirtier and muddier as it made contact with the rain-soaked, newly turned, soil. It didn’t take me long to put the two shrubs in the holes I dug, fill them in with fertilizer and dirt, dig up the Hydrangea and move it to the end of the row. I’m getting another Hydrangea for the opposite end to help balance out my design (hopefully this weekend) then I’ll be finished for the year. I’ll anxiously wait until Spring to see how it all fills in.

I didn’t take any photos while I worked in my yard; I was too focused on finishing and didn’t think about it. So here’s a stock photo of what I planted.


When I was done I showered, ran a few errands, and went with Bill to his parents’ house. His mom had her gallbladder taken out a week ago and was still recuperating. In an effort to help we offered to do their grocery shopping. Bill’s dad went over the list with us before we left the house but we still had to call home from the store twice for clarification. Did they want orange juice with pulp or without? Was Mr. Clean in a bottle or spray? Finding honey wheat english muffins among the multigrain, cinnamon raisin, corn, double protein, high fiber and limited edition cranberry and apple pie was a small victory. Bill wanted to walk up and down every aisle, I wanted to hit only the aisles we needed something in. He conceded, never saying a word when we had to backtrack for artichoke hearts and Sweet’N Low. Eventually, we scratched everything off the list, checked and double checked labels and were on our way. Outside it continued to pour. We took the dog out for a walk, had dinner with his parents (take out from Italian restaurant down the street) and were on our way.

We woke up to a clear day on Sunday with the sun shining bright.


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