A gardener without a gallbladder

Okay, so it’s been a minute. Not seven years this time, but a while. I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but the short version of the story is passing a gallstone hurts just about as much as having a baby, and I no longer have a gallbladder. I had surgery two weeks ago today and recovery has been remarkably easy, but my incisions do tell me when I have overdone it, and overdoing it has included all the things I do when gardening. Squatting, reaching, picking things up. Add to that the fact that it has rained just about every day since I went into the hospital, and there just hasn’t been a lot to write about. Until today!

It was finally a dry sunny day and my incisions are feeling much better and the little one was at preschool and I had gotten a bunch of free pots and free soil so I did stuff! ALSO, more exciting that probably anything else – I got the brand new iPhone and the camera is SO MUCH BETTER than what I had. It still won’t take macro photos with the quality I want, but today was as much about taking pictures as it was getting my hands dirty. But I did get my hands dirty.

There was so much to do I didn’t even know where to start. I ended up just starting at one corner of the front yard and working my way through, just doing the things that needed the most help. One thing that has been driving me crazy is this stupid Veronica that is right at the edge of the driveway, so I see how awful it looks constantly. It got really beat down by spider mites and some sunburn. But I was really happy to find that below all the tall dead stuff was a bunch of happy new growth! I cut it all back and ohhhh it looks so much better. It did have one weird healthy old spike of flowers so I left that.

That bed also has these little pink annuals that I can’t even remember what they are, but they were $1 half-dead plants that looked like crap all summer and I kind of regretted putting them in, but with the weather change they have really taken off and look nice! And, I got some cheap Kent Beauty oregano, which I always just really really love, and I popped that in too.

This bed looked awful all summer long and I’m really hoping it will do better next year. Oh! Also, there was the cutest tiny little random poofball of a plant growing there. I have no idea what it is, or where it came from! It’s obviously a succulent of some sort, but it’s just a total mystery to me. I’m really into it.

I didn’t actually do anything with this plant, but I’ve been dying to get good pictures of it for a few weeks but couldn’t get that low to the ground. A planty acquaintance from NextDoor gave me two little pots of these and they are so dang sweet. But she told me they were “pregnant onion”, and my Facebook plant group disagreed with her, but I just still am not sure what to think. Now that I’ve got a good picture of the flower I am going to do some more research.

Some things flopped over in the rain.

Oh god, the trash can area is just such a nightmare. It was all weed free when I planted all the sedum, and now looooooooook. Bajillions of mallow. Like, I know that by weeding it I am making it worse. But, how do I not weed it? I mean, I can’t just leave it there. I seriously just thought to myself, “Calgon, take me away.” Dork.

Something interesting is happening over there though…the shrubs that I can’t identify that looked truly awful when I moved in are now starting to develop a pink tint to the leaves! I still can’t decide what they are, I have like six possibilities in my head. It didn’t bloom this year, at least not while I lived here, so I’m hoping next year they’ll flower and I’ll figure it out.

Finally, and also FINALLY, I was able to pot up some houseplants. My family sent me some get well soon plants, which I really appreciated! They aren’t super exciting, but at least they add life to the house. I already had the green pots, I don’t remember where I got them, but the nice orange pot that the Kalanchoe is in was from my major free score from NextDoor yesterday. I think the Kalanchoe looks really pretty in it. And the two giant ZZ plants, which were also free, from Buy Nothing, are in two big pots that I got as part of the $10 container score from NextDoor. They aren’t super nice pots, to be honest, but they are huge, and I just would never have had the money to buy pots that big for myself. And oh, boy were those ZZs potbound. I knew it as soon as I picked them up the first time, you could feel the roots bulging against the plastic pots they were in. They were so bound I had to cut the pots apart with a box knife, I couldn’t pull the plants out. I really hope potting them up was actually the right thing to do. I’m worried that the soil will stay wet for longer and they won’t like that, but I guess we’ll wait and see.

I love this picture. It looks like a dorky family photo.

I sure do hope we have some more days like this coming up so I can get out and tidy up a bit more. I’m really mourning summer. The rain hitting right as I went into hospital just made the end of summer feel so abrupt. I have more indoor plants now than I’ve had in years though, so that’s helping.

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