I talk too much. Three times this past week I have invited interested gardeners over to look at this creation. Now, I said “interested” and they are but when I start going into way too much detail and their eyes glaze over I should take the hint. Live and learn. Plus, I don’t have time to go into all this detail. There is work to be done.
here is more than meets the eye in a garden. Liz Johnson and I shared many a pot of tea on dark winter days as we poured over seed catalogs. We shared responsibility for the Garden Clubs’ “Car Wash Garden” for eons. That was an effort that sucked up more of our time and effort than a hanging basket that needs daily watering.
Please, don’t let Al Gore know how much I’m loving this March and April. I feel like I should be wearing a hair shirt and walking on my knees to atone for my delight.
I’ve often said that if you don’t want nine months of winter/almost winter than you shouldn’t live here. You want fruit trees? Go to Washington. You want watermelons? Go to Texas. You want everything else? Stay right here.
Never in the 44 years of living in Alaska have I had a garden party the first weekend of April, and there we were, with margaritas no less. Amazing.
There has been a lot to think about the past two weeks. For instance: A friend pointed out that never ever in all her years in the Far North has she had to consider an outdoor seating arrangement in the shade. Now there is food for thought.
It isn’t all that unusual to have five inches of new snow on the first day of spring. There are two ways to cope: either pragmatically or emotionally. I chose to make waffles which I think falls somewhere in-between. John, sensing an indoor tempest, stoked the fire, made me tea, said almost all the right things and then left. Hmmm.
There is nothing that irritates me more than the month of March. Well, national politics but that’s only this year. March springs eternal.
So here it is Sunday evening at elevation 396 feet. I spent the afternoon shaking almost two feet of wet, heavy snow off shrubs. I know, I should have been wearing a hair shirt. This activity felt like penance for loving challenging kinds of ornamental plants.
But love them I do, and shake off the snow I will. The snow has turned to rain and the branches will probably break without my attention. Not on my watch.
This column is being written on Super Bowl Sunday. Taking into consideration that it would be impossible for me to care less about football I decided to address the mock orange that has graced the west corner of the house for about 15 years. I have yet to prune it. The other two have been pruned but this particular one of the trio is so magnificent that I have had pruning fear. Until last year. It did not bloom with gusto. This is a clear indication that something needed to be done. Also, the inside of the shrub was mostly dead wood.
Never ever have I had a garden take such a leisurely farewell. Well, maybe last year’s. Maybe I need to get used to leisurely.
Most of the annuals are still blooming, granted they are on their last hurrah. The foxgloves (Foxy) are blooming again after being deadheaded weeks ago. The James McFarland lilac’s second round of blooms are going to seed. Usually they don’t bloom all of the way out let alone go to seed. Interesting.
John and I took a lovely walk on the logging roads accessed off Knob Hill. Used now by hunters, they quickly diminish to four wheeler tracks.
We took advantage of a beautiful day and one just before hunting season opened. Hunters can make their way to the Caribou Hills through here and better hunting opportunities. The logged land has regrown with grass, not exactly moose browse, so the habitat has changed markedly.
But what did I see?
I’ve been doing a lot of looking around this week, looking to see what is still in bloom, lots actually. At first I was skeptical that anything much is still hanging in there. That the plants had such an early start and bloomed their hearts out and that would be that.
ho would have thought that I would have to spend a chunk of August in Detroit? That’s right, Detroit. Of all places. Detroit. May this never happen to me again.