Friday, May 27, 2011

Strength Training through Gardening

Cross one off The List - a butterfly garden has been planted!

Bending, stretching, digging, planting...gardening is great exercise. Especially when you have to dig up sod before you can get started!

Before - front corner of the yard. Clover is starting to fill in but this is the patchiest part of the lawn.
Looking forward to having a garden here instead.
All in all, I spent about 9 hours on this project over 2 days. Started by digging up 25 sq-ft of the front lawn. Not a massive patch, but it was still long and tedious work and it took a couple of hours. Definitely not my favourite part of the project.

Thank goodness the bulk of the site prep is behind me and I can get to planting.
Woke up the next morning, eager to get planting - and realized that I wasn't sore!!! My back, hands, legs and feet all got worked yesterday but I'm feeling strong. This is a nice change from past spring planting sessions when I'd wake up the next day feeling stiff and tired.

My daughter loves getting her hands in the dirt!
Had a quick breakfast, then headed outside with a cup of coffee and my shovels. Spent a fair bit of time fussing with plant placement and enlarging the patch I dug up yesterday. My husband did the final shaping - he's got a much better eye for design than I do.

All of the plants that I put in are teeny and I'm hopeful that they thrive. Can't wait for them to mature a bit, fill in and start blooming.

For your interest, we planted: 
  • Little Bluestem Grass and 3 x Dwarf Shooting Star - good host plants for larvae
  • A Butterfly Bush, 2 x Spirea, 5 x Black-Eyed Susan, 3 x Butterfly Weed and 3 x Bee Balm - good nectar sources for adult butterflies
  • A few flat rocks - for butterflies to land on and warm themselves
  • Lavender and 2 x campanula - relocated from another garden, to fill in bare patches!
  • Another garden two feet away contains yarrow - flat big flower heads make more good landing zones for adults
We also need to add a water source - I'm told that either a shallow bird bath or a dish of moist sand will do the trick.

Not the world's most impressive 'after' picture. Can't wait for these plants to grow!

Here's this week's recap -

Saturday - Dig, plant, repeat. Followed by rearranging the furniture in both children's rooms and the tiniest start to a deep clean of my son's room. Not sure that I really want to get into this - his room is filled with loose Lego pieces, "treasures" and dust. Sigh.

Waiting for our turn on the bumper boats
Once again grateful that I no longer have to worry at amusement parks about being able to fit into a lifejacket...or swamp the boats!
Sunday - Met friends for a few hours of fun at Ontario Place - rides, mini golf and so on. Fun!

Son and I at the track - pic by my daughter

Monday - Victoria Day holiday! The four of us went to the park for a few hours - rode our bikes around the track, played catch. I logged about 6K on the bike, and gave my pitching arm a good workout!

Mom - over here! I'm open!
Realized that I'm no longer cranky when my kids' throw is way off and I have to run for the ball.
Being fitter makes games SO much more enjoyable...
Tuesday - Short lunchtime walk, about 1K.

Wednesday - Short lunchtime walk, Zumba

Thursday - Short lunchtime walk, Zumba + 30 pushups.

Friday - Took the kids to the circus! Saw a friend of ours perform in the end-of-year show for the Toronto School of Circus Arts. They put on an amazing aerial and acrobatics show, and it has us excited about the prospect of taking classes at a studio closer to home this fall :-)

What I'm reading this week - Cool Water by Dianne Warren - very reminiscent of Annie Proulx's Wyoming Stories - and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

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