Friday, March 7, 2008

My Own Gardening...

As far as my own gardening goes, I adore it! In the last few years, repeated hand surgeries and asthma have kind of taken the bloom off of my own lovely garden, but still, I’m working on it. I have plans. Poor Mark.

Sometimes, when the weather is nice, I’ll step outside first thing in the morning to dead head the pretty pink, speckled-y azalea that I can see from the dining room, and then, … it’ll just take a few minutes to trim that invasive vine, and while I’m at it, … I should take the remnants of last years annuals out of the hanging basket, and since I’m out here, …I really should fertilize the …. Oh, just everything. Oh look! The hyacinths are poking through. I really need to dig that peony up and replant it, a little shallow-er. Jim Poletti says that’s why it has never bloomed. Will we ever get rid of the Elephant Ear that is killing the lawn? I’ll pull the new sprouts out. Wasps are building a nest under the tile roof, so are the sparrows! Oh the dear little birds! The topiaries could use winding up. Oh, my but those are the most perfect rose specimens I have ever seen! I’ll take a few into the house, and put them in my very favorite birdie vase. After I sweep the leaves off the bricks, Mark will be surprised! The hummingbird feeder needs to be freshened. Phone’s ringing! Hello? Oh My Goodness, no! I’m not ready yet! What time is it anyway? 2:00 o’clock!? I’m still in my nightgown and robe!

Mark will sometimes come home to find me like that. He laughs and asks, “Taking your therapy?”

He told me recently that he misses the little piles of weeds left for him all over the yard. He says he would rather pick up the piles than pull the weeds. While I, definitely would rather pull the weeds than pick up the piles. We have the perfect symbiotic relationship.

I hope, this year to break this cycle, and get back to my garden therapy sessions. I think I’m off to a good start. I bought seed packets in January. I finally remembered to plant my Sweet peas, last September! They’re growing beautifully, thank you! I untwined the lavender trumpet vine that grows next to the front porch, and trained it up onto the eaves. I need to do the one on the far side of the garage door, still. If I can just have a timely combination of warm-ish weather, unscheduled time, and good health!

I bought pole beans, again, to train over the arch at the entrance to The Boys’ Garden. Last year, it only grew up one side. This year, I think I’ll try, somehow, to protect the seedlings from a certain male dog. I am not certain as to how I will manage that, but I am certain that was the problem. And the garden needs a gate. The same blonde dog likes to go in there and peep through the knot holes at our neighbors. He thinks everything interesting that goes on in the whole wide world, happens in their back yard. Last year, he trampled the bird house gourds that we were trying to grow by his constant stomping and peeping! Those seeds aren’t easy to find!

I’m ready to start that new flower bed in the front yard, under the Chinese Pistache Tree that we planted for Zach and Elizabeth’s wedding. Jim Poletti gave me a lilac tree that he had started. He told me that it had to stay it in the pot for a year, till it developed a strong root system. It’s been a year! Time’s up! The Pistache tree grows so nearly straight up, and leafs out so late in the spring, that I think it will be the ideal environment for my beautiful new lilac. I have long wanted one since I saw Lorene Smith’s. She was a precious elderly lady, our next door neighbor, and friend at our own first house. She was in her late eighties when we met. Don’t you think lilacs are one of the most charming, old fashioned plants? And I love to imagine the beautiful, heady, perfumed fragrance when they come up, as they often do in old English literature.

I bought Nasturtium and Zinnia seeds to border the garden … … separate it from the lawn. I fancy myself some kind of worldly gardening/chef genius when I sample an edible flower! I don’t know whether or not zinnias are, but nasturtiums are definitely edible. And Zinnias are instant gratification of the cut flower kind. And I think little boys will enjoy that. Mommies, get your Birdie vases ready!

I planted my first Zinnia seeds, when we lived on Cramer Road in Auburn. They were in a free packet that came in the Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, probably the year I was 16 or 17. Instantly, I wanted a patch to grow flowers. Mom and Pop encouraged me, but I don’t remember following through. Never mind, though. It matters not. The fulfillment of planting something from seed, and having it flourish, stuck. I have some sweet, unattached memory of ladybugs, here. Hmmmm … … Wonder what that’s about.

I bought Basil seeds to sow in my hanging flower basket. Because we have so much ivy, we also have way too many snails, and apparently they love basil. Who wouldn’t? I have discovered that I can grow it safely and abundantly in a hanging basket, and I do so love to walk out into the backyard and snip something that we’ve grown for that night’s dinner. Isn’t it just the most delightful, fulfilling feeling?

I always wanted to have an herb garden, so for years, I dutifully planted herbs, never having a clue what I was supposed to do with them. Eventually, I learned what all of the excitement was about. I know now, and I definitely did not know what I was missing! But I suspected.

So … … Now I grow basil in hanging pots, and rosemary in a flower bed beside the pool. I love that the rosemary is a leftover centerpiece from Elizabeth and Justin’s wedding. (Incidentally, the wisteria is from Zach and Elizabeth’s wedding arch. I’m saving it in pot until they buy their first house.) I have to grow almost all of the other herbs in pots in the pool yard because; Number 1, it has full afternoon sun, and Number 2, there is a gate to keep, ahem, male dogs out. Something about Bravo and flower pots. Drives me crazy.

So my Loves, this is installment #2.


  1. It was Morpheus who said "When bright flowers bloom, Parchment crumbles, my words fade. The pen has dropped ..."

    When inspiration fades and I can't write another word, my mother's backyard and garden has always either been a source of inspiration or a source of peace.

    to Mom:

    When I'm worn out and heavy laden with concerns that are beyond me, a garden with personality like yours, a hammock and a ivy covered deck is like watching a baseball game and sipping sweet tea. It just fits.

  2. This is just so beautiful and serence to read... I can almost smell the leaves and wet soil, two of my favorite things. So glad you set up a blog!

  3. What a beautiful picture!!!