Making a secret garden

I've started a new project recently: the Secret Garden project. Out behind my apartment building is a backyard: lots of poured concrete, an old run-down outbuilding, weeds, overgrown flowers, and collapsing fences.

I'm cleaning it all up. All of it. I've wanted to do it for ages, but I didn't, because I wasn't sure I'd ever spend time out there once I was finished. I wasn't sure the weather would be nice enough (it's pretty foggy and cold in my neighborhood), I wasn't sure of a million things. And then I realized something, I realized who cares? Who cares what the end result is? Who cares if I ever step out in the yard again once the project is finished?

What I've craving isn't sitting in a perfectly appointed English garden on a sunny afternoon. I've been craving the smell of damp soil, the exertion of pulling weeds, the thrill of planting seeds and watching as the first tiny shoots of green poke through the surface. I've been craving gardening, not a garden.

Silly trite breakthrough? Perhaps, but enough for me to get out there. I've filled three bags of old branches and cuttings and weeds. I've planted two basil plants and three little tomato plants. I've tamed the blackberry brambles creeping over the wall, and freed calla lilies from the choking ensnarement of grassy weeds.

This week there's more pulling and planting to be done. And the next, and the next. Estimated completion date of the secret garden? Who cares?

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