I've had a terrible couple of weeks, but the one bright spot has been my new, 55 square foot flowerbed, which I built last week. Digging in the dirt and moving stones to build a wall really helps you let off some steam! Our soil is mostly sand and clay, so I drove out to Birome, Texas, to get some compost. It's a tiny place that I doubt you could find on a map, consisting of a church, a handful of houses, and a cotton gin, which produces compost with all its discarded cotton hulls. This is the best compost you could ever find--it's rich and doesn't overheat or burn your plants.
In getting my compost, I discovered two things. The first is that there's a compost racket. My local greenhouse buys compost from the Birome gin and sells it for $3 per pound. Getting it directly from the gin, you get about forty pounds for $2.75. The second thing I discovered is that this stuff smells. It smells so bad. And one does not simply wash off this smell! No, it took about four washes to get the stink off my hands.
Now would not be a good time to shake my hand.