There are lots of great things about being involved in the artistic and artist-run community in Edmonton, but one of my favorites is the capacity for people to come together to make things happen that they want to see happen.
That was certainly the case today at Harcourt House!
I’ve been a bit buried in work lately on all kinds of fronts (hence the silence here!), and I was in need of some down time that would get me out into the lovely (finally, at LAST!) Spring weather we’re having. I get serious Spring Fever – and there’s few things I like better at this time of year than digging in the dirt and watching things come to life after our long Prairie winters. And quick as you can say ‘there’s a rabbit over there’ (there was one on the lawn today), the gang at Harcourt came to my rescue with a lovely little project to improve the look of the front lawns in front of the two buildings there.
The signs out front are in need of repainting – a job on the list for this summer – but before that can happen, we needed to do something about the overgrown daylilies that grow in front of one of them … and the Annex Building front yard really needed a bit of sprucing up.
Presto! A project was born!
Stacey, Brittney, and I got to work early this morning to dig out the lilies from the first bed; in addition to needing to be split, those lilies were crowding a whole bunch of lovely tulips, so those needed to be coaxed out and moved as well. I’d also brought some irises and a delphinium from home that were in desperate need of splitting, so we had the makings of some lovely flower beds right from the start.
We got to digging, and digging. And digging. And Splitting root balls. And weeding. And weeding some more. And moving dug up sod from one place to another. And on we went … for several hours.
The three of us were also joined by Zach, Harcourt House’s designer, and Derek (the Executive Director) came by to see how things were going in the afternoon.
By the end of the day, we had dug a long bed almost the full width of the Annex Building, planted it, and had finished a second bed by the Annex Sign with all the lilies left over from the first transplanting!
A great day spent in the sun, helping things grow, and making our little corner of the world a nicer place. There’s more to do, of course – there always is – but for now, we can keep those plants watered, and watch them get used to their new home.
There’s something really quite delightful about spending time doing something like this with creative people; we are often making work or doing research that is much more open-ended, or that doesn’t provide the same sort of absolutely tangible “Look at what we got DONE today” kind of satisfaction. I think we all went home knowing the satisfaction that comes from making something with our hands, in real time, and seeing the results of that labour immediately. I certainly know I did.
A good day, with good people.