Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dithering Over Garden Plans

Sitting at my computer this afternoon, I am swimming in the wonderful and heady scent of lilacs that come from my mother-in-law's garden. She has been gone for three year now, but this is when I miss her the most. She is in all of the gardening I do and this year I am in a dither.
The front garden has a glorious, nearly weed free start thanks to my husband who went through and plucked out the weeds that were early raisers. Now that we are having much warmer weather, there is a gang of weeds threatening to take over. I must get at them this next weekend. My alliums are above it all. They are glorious in all of their purple splendor.

Here is a interesting shot that happens to display several stages of the alliums opening.

Not to be left out, my favorite "Pig Squeak" Begonia displays her finery as well. Her round, glossy leaves will outlast the alliums, and nearly everything else out front. Sadly, my original Pig Squeak that I fell in love with many years ago did not reappear this spring. Plants do grow old and die, but I still don't like that fact.

Last summer was a odd summer for gardening. My attentions were so split with doing things with the kids, going to art camp for two weeks, writing several online courses and the like, that our veggies did not do well at all. I felt like a failure. I had augmented my soil and the plants got plenty of water since we now have a sprinkler system, but still, not a great result. I have come to find out that it was not just me. Nearly all of the other gardeners I talk to say the same thing. The lone exception is a house about a mile away. They have a resplendent garden where there used to be grass. I see them out there tending it nearly any evening I drive by. Now, They know what they are doing, and they are bold! They already have warm weather stuff out and grow even though the threat of frost is not past.

Between my veggie failure I came across a posting from Ali Edwards who wrote about transforming her veggie bed into one for flowers for cutting. I found that a bit enchanting and even thought about it over the winter. I was pretty resolved that I was not going to do veggies this year. Then, it happened. My husband stirred up the dirt in the cold frame on the south side of the house. It was inviting. It whispered possibilities to me when ever I was working at the computer and had the window open. The dirt was dark and inviting. Then I gave in. I used cheerfully colored string to convince myself that even if I failed here, at least there would be a small bit of color. I drew lines in the dirt under the string, carefully deposited tiny seeds, sprinkled it lightly with dirt and just smidge of water. I checked it every morning before work. And then it happened - little green miracles sprouted up from the dark earth. Slowly at first, crowding each other out. I had to thin some of them right away. I haven't the heart to do more. I may make my boy take on that task.

The lettuce, radish and spinach sprouts mean hope and a chance. So now, I am dithering and so undecided.

I'm reasonably certain that I want to put veggies and flowers together in the raised beds in the backyard. I just don't know which ones. I am in the middle of research. If Eleanor were here, she would hold my hand in her soft one, stroking the top of mine with hers, and gently nudge me into giving it a go, helping me pick out plants that will be successful. I will continue to miss her, but I will also have to find someone else to help me get over my dithering. It's time to begin planting something already.

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