Spring cleaning at the Historic Garden, Aalsmeer, NL

I am sitting here this evening typing, I am feeling muscles that were dormant all winter.  Nothing like shoveling wet dirt for a couple of hours to work up a sweat and have my body now inform me that I am a bit out of shape.

I have nothing to complain about as most people pay good money to abuse their bodies at a gym.  Heck, I am getting in shape and the garden gets some benefit out of my hard work.

As I was working pushing dirt around this morning, I was told by another volunteer that the huge piles of dirt are hauled in by boat from Gouda.  Most of you know that Gouda is known for its famous cheese but now you can add black dirt to your list of social factoids.

Piles of black Gouda dirt at the Historic Garden

Piles of black Gouda dirt at the Historic Garden

I was working with the garden manager two other volunteers moving dirt from one of the huge piles to fill in between the rose bushes.  As I am still a newbie at the garden I still seem to pick the wrong tool for the job.  Do you know how many types of shovels there are to move dirt?  I didn’t.  I picked the grain shovel first and was informed directly that it would not work to move the dirt.  When I returned with another shovel it was also not the right one, this shovel I found out later was for digging around roots of trees, but it did the job just fine for me. Then I was shown a smaller shovel that one of the workers was using. The best dirt shovel for the job.

I am sure I provide some comic relief for the old-timers who work at the garden.

Oops – there she is again with the wrong tool, the wrong clothing.  She walked all the way here without a tool in her hand?  Is she speaking English to her self again?  Why is she always waving her arms in the air?

Once again I learned something while I volunteered!  I am sure I will make other mistakes as I continue through the season. One thing is for sure I get a good deal of walking accomplished from the garden back and forth to the shed for the right tools!

The pruned rose brushes waiting for some Gouda black dirt

The pruned rose brushes waiting for some Gouda black dirt

With a wind force six or seven today my hair was immediately OOC (out of control).  Rose bush thorns caught on my clothes. The sharp thorns hanging onto my jacket until I fought with them to get into the wheel barrel to be hauled away.  The wind blowing my  wheel barrel over whenever I turned my back.

When I finished and walked to the bus, I had a smile on my face as I saw the first of the blooming tulips of the season next to the canal in Aalsmeer.  What a great day.

English Daisy - Bellis perennis 'Monstrusa'

English Daisy – Bellis perennis ‘Monstrusa’

As I climbed onto the bus, I was greeted by one of the other garden volunteers who was riding the bus to see his wife at a nursing home.  It really put things into perspective for me that I need to keep moving as long as I can.


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