Dirt Under Your Nails? The Gardener’s Badge of Honor!

by Laura Knoerr May 10, 2018 2 min read

2 Comments

Spring at last! When moist black soil feels better than expensive lotion to my hands. How odd for someone who can’t stand to clean out the sink strainer or gets grossed out if she has stick her hand down into the disposal! Somehow spring dirt just doesn’t feel dirty (until the dogs start tracking it in!).

Ready to gardenI ordered a bunch of bulbs and plants way back in March and, at long last, they arrived last Saturday night. It was too late that night to plant, so I unpacked. That modest shipping bag held at least 50 bulbs and plants (including my splurge – a lemon tree)!

Fortunately, we had great rains earlier in the week, and the soil was the perfect consistency when I got down to the job of planting. Finally, the tulips and daffodils and fruit trees and spring flowers have begun blooming! Such a lovely fragrance to work by.

Planting bulbs when you can still see the early perennials is ideal. You don’t accidentally slice into unknown bulbs or damage other perennials when you can see at least a tendril unfurled. I felt confident that they were all safe from my little hand spade. I also planted asparagus, which came as dry roots and required the big spade and two deep holes. I wore a pair of cloth gloves with rubber coating on the palms. These are the best I’ve had so far! Look Ma, no blisters!  But, I still had to take them off for the work of placing and then covering over the smaller bulbs.

After four hours of kneeling, squatting, shoveling and watering, my major muscle groups felt it. In fact, they complained at me for the next two days. These minor inconveniences are but a small price to pay, however, and I proudly display my less than attractive nails. They are my badge of honor for the flowers to come! 

Next week - the remainder of the vegetables from my little greenhouse go into the ground! 

A great Mother's Day (or anytime gift) is a good pair of gardening gloves - and a fun patriotic garden flag! FlagsRUs has got a great selection, like the one below.


2 Responses

Judy Killen
Judy Killen

May 09, 2019

I ordered and planted many bulbs and loving seeing the flowers emerge this spring. Everything is beautiful! They make me so happy to see them bloom. I try to use gloves, but most often I pull them off and start digging with my hands. I used to have gorgeous nails as a young adult. Now they are stained by the soil and are super short. Every time something blooms I take pictures and post them on FB to share with my family and friends.

Beth Madlin
Beth Madlin

May 22, 2018

I totally agree with Laura. I love planting with my hands in dirt as much as possible. Maybe it is because I feel a connection by creating a new beauty for myself and others to look at.

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