Monday, April 12, 2010

Of straw hats, hostas and heaps of patience.

I don't have a lot of perennial plants or shrubs near my home. We live in the middle of the forest (OK, darn near the middle) and there is a lot of natural color and changing scenery throughout the year without me adding to it.

The longer we live here, though, the bigger this vision in my head of a beautiful yard grows. I see quiet gardens with stone paths and a fish-filled pond in the back yard. I imagine a small, soft, green patch of grass in the front interspersed with raised beds where my vegetable plants mingle with annuals and perennials that bloom at different times through the summer months.

And that's just the beginning.

Someday I'm going to be that old lady with the wide-brimmed straw hat and the slip-on rubber gardening shoes. You know the grandma who always has fresh cut flowers from her yard on the kitchen table and on the back of the toilet? That'll be me.

Gardening is a lesson in patience, I have learned. You can have the vision, but it takes time, money, and - dare I say - a touch of talent (or is it luck?) to bring those dreams to life. I didn't realize how interested I would be in adding to our landscape (and I mean "landscape" in the broad sense, not the ultra-manicured sense) until a few years ago when I discovered how full and healthy our hostas had become and how much joy I got each spring at the first sign of them poking up through the soil.

You have to understand, these hostas rode home in the back of Steve's pickup, probably caked with mud and half dead, after someone gave them to him. His crew had dug them up in order to install a gas service through the giver's yard.

I stuck the clumps in the ground at the edge of our yard and watered them with little hope that they would recover. But recover they did. And how.

Now I wish I had a photo of them to share. Maybe later this summer when they are looking their best.

For now, I'll share the latest installment of "let's see if we have any luck with this."

Hmm. OK. Not a great photo.

And really. Would it kill us to get a rake out once in a while?


Lilacs! White ones!

My mother-in-law was doing some trimming and clearing over the weekend and pulled out a bunch of shoots from her lilac bush beside her house. These particular beauties were actually growing horizontally along the ground beneath some other shrubs.

They might not look so hot now, but I'm hoping in three or four years I'll have the start of a nice lilac bush.

Realistically, it'll probably be 10 years. I'm OK with that. Because I love lilacs! And these were free! And I'm not going anywhere anyway, so I might as well pretty up the place a little, don't you think?

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