Friday, March 14, 2014


Not enough rain.   Weeds everywhere.  No helpers.  If I weren't so stubborn, if I hadn't invested so much of myself, I'd be tempted to give up gardening.  Maybe go in for rock collecting.  

It is an early year for everything.   The Chinodoxa have spread around the iris.  If you haven't planted it yet, add it to your list for next year: it is a most satisfying bulb, trouble free and cheery.  It blooms in the gap between paperwhites and the proper daffs, and it spreads.  In this case that's a good thing.
Hellebore foam at the feet of the ceramic bamboo - another very satisfying plant, and the only bamboo that will not spread - despite what your bamboo-zled friends will tell you.  Hand made by my friend and fabulous artist Paula Hamilton.
In the fall I planted daffodils in pots, the bulbs almost touching, with pansies on top.  The gold crowned sparrows ate most of the pansies, but the daffs are a huge hit.
Boxwood cones planted last year to give winter structure to the garden - brilliant.  I'm not taking credit for inventing the idea, just for translating it to my garden (stolen, borrowed, whatever).  And for the placement.  Hard learned, hard earned.  So happy to have that skill.
The Patio we built one mothers' day invites  you to sit.  But no gardener ever has sat in her own garden unless she was pulling a rose thorn out of her finger, or deciding on the best place for a prized plant.  Even with guests present the true gardener is leaning over to pull a weed or snick off an errant tendril of clematis.  Guilty as charged. 
The stone stairs, better with boxwood.   And hellebores - they carry the garden thru winter.  
Grape hyacinth tucked into odd corners at the edges of paths are blooming.  They get lost in the garden beds, unless you have them in huge sheets, but walking along contemplating the weeds, just a handful of flowers catch my eye, and are a note of happiness.
 Forget me nots.  Without them winter would be grim.  If you don't pull them when they're gone to seed and mildewed, but give them a haircut instead, they will bloom all summer.  And start blooming earlier next year.  I fling the seeds I've trimmed off everywhere, and in the dead time between winter and spring my garden is a sheet of blue.   
Spring is hovering just over the horizon, that bustle and rush.  Then comes the baking summer and the long evenings, gardening long past the time any sensible person would have gone inside.  But now, just this day, my garden is magic.  Off to look for fairies and photograph the violets.  Quickly, before this moment is gone.

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