Browsing Archives for April 2010

And So The Garden Begins…

April 21st, 2010

Och Aye!  Getting my garden going this year was a mite harder than last year.  Last Spring I was digging into virgin earth.  Soil that had yet to sprout a weed.  New raised beds that had never suffered the scourge of  bindweed, ragweed, milk thistle, johnson grass, hoary cress, musk thistle, pignut or quackgrass.

But this year was different.  I walked out to my garden on a fine Spring morning to find it’s virgin soil densely covered with the brazen embrace of a multitude of virulent weeds.

Filled with righteous indignation (and only after procrastinating for as long as I possibly could) I began to tear the weeds from the once pure and undefiled soil of my tender and innocent garden.  They came loose from the ground in my vice like grip – their lifeless roots dangling and bare, pale, weak and freshly impotent. I threw them in my wheel barrow and carted them to the compost pile where they could no longer ravage this fair garden of mine.

So far I have planted lettuce, spinach, mesclun, onions, and herbs.  I hope to get some potatoes in the ground today.

And you!

You dastardly weeds that dare to creep back and defile once again my sweet patch o’ prairie earth.

I will be watching you!

The Country Doctor promised me that he would not plant anymore trees this year.

I don’t know why he made this promise.  I don’t care if he plants more trees.  I think he is just using a promise to me to try and control his inner druid.

So this is the Country Doctor not planting anymore trees.

And this is the Country Doctor not planting anyMORE trees.

And yes… still not planting ANYMORE  trees.

His inner druid is not easily defeated.

I asked the country doctor if there is some kind of drug… or maybe a therapy… or maybe some cutting edge research being done that could help him with his uh… tree planting problem.

But he ignored me.

And walked away…

And didn’t plant even more trees.


Last year he planted over a hundred trees on our eight acre lot. Almost all of them were seedlings – teensy trees just one or two feet tall.  He gets them from the Kansas Forestry Department.  Yes, Kansas has a Forestry department.  Yes, that is kind of funny.  No, Kansas doesn’t have any forests.  We have plains, lots and lots of plains, and wheat and flint hills with tall grasses and a few scraggly trees struggling to survive down by the dried up creek beds.

When I was a kid, growing up in Western Kansas, the occasional relative would visit from strange and exotic locales like Colorado or Arkansas and the first thing they would say after disembarking from their cars was always, “Where are all the trees?”

As a child, I was mystified by the frequency of this remark.

I was aghast at their blindness!  

Could they not see the crooked oak at the side of the house.

The battered maple in the neighbors front yard.

The trio of evergreens way down the block.

The wind beaten cherry tree shining with defiance in the center of our backyard.

“What do you mean where are the trees!?!” I would exclaim.

“There’s a tree!”

“A there’s a tree!”

“And way down the street by the school there’s ANOTHER tree!” I would furiously point these trees out, directing my obviously stupid relatives to look at the dazzling array of six or even SEVEN trees within the twenty miles of unobstructed view you could plainly see from our front stoop.

Then we went to the Ozarks for a family vacation.

And I came to understand what ‘trees’ meant.

I don’t know if the absence of trees from my husband’s own wind swept western Kansas childhood is what fuels his desire to plant as many trees as he possibly can or if his tree compulsion is just a chance to escape the house and the tyranny of his wife’s demands.  But I don’t mind the compulsive tree planting.  I like trees too.  As long as I am not the one planting them!


Last year he planted twenty five red buds, twenty five lacebark elms, twenty five burr oaks, and twenty five saw tooth oaks.  He also planted a few larger trees.

Some Prairie Fire crab apples down by the pond…

A gorgeous molten lava crab apple in the front yard…

And a small orchard of two pears, two apples, a cherry and a peach tree.

This year he has planted twenty five Schumer oaks, twenty five sycamores and four exotic evergreens he ordered from ForestFarm.

Three of the four exotic evergreens are ‘weeping’ trees.

A weeping Alaska cedar.

A weeping Serbian spruce.

And a weeping Siberian Fir.

“Why are you planting all these weeping trees?”  I asked the country druid (I mean country doctor!)

“Because they are beautiful trees!”  he said,  ”they are just gorgeous!”

Then he showed me some photos of these ‘beautiful’ weeping trees.


As often happens to people who spend too much time admiring a specific item over prolonged periods, the more unusual specimens eventually become the most admired.  I fear the day that my front yard is littered with bizarre Dr. Seuss trees that make my husband’s druid heart go pitter pat.

I may have to stage a tree intervention before that happens!

If anyone in Eastern Kansas or Western Missouri (or other neighboring areas) is interested in seeing David Sedaris this coming Saturday (April 24th) at 7:30 pm in Lawrence, Kansas at the Lied Center – I have one ticket to give away. The Country Doctor can’t use his ticket as he will be at Man Camp.  

Don’t Ask.

Just leave a comment on this post.  If more than one person responds, I will draw the name randomly.  

You will have to sit by me and I hope that is okay.  I’ll be the girl in the fabulous orange polyester evening gown with contrasting belt and jacket .  Or not…

Not only will I quite possibly be seated by a complete stranger at the David Sedaris event, I also hope to see Nate Phelps on Saturday afternoon at 2pm at the Topeka Performing Arts Center. Nate is the atheist son of Fred Phelps of “God Hate’s Fags” fame.  Nate’s talk is free and I imagine that the Phelp’s family will show up to picket this event as well.  This is an awful lot of excitement in one day for Kansas.  I hope my state doesn’t crack in half!  

It would be terribly nice to see some of you at either of these events.  Don’t be afraid to come up and say hi. Just look for the girl in orange (or not).  Hopefully not!  Please not.  Please don’t let me wear that dress to the Lied Center!    


Nate Phelps Returns to Topeka Event