May 29, 2009

Garden Therapy

My apologies - I've been neglecting you... and myself. My writing has taken a back seat for the past couple of weeks to my 'other therapy' - garden therapy.

As I mentioned back in February, both MSB and I spend the winter devouring catalogs from our favorite plant places, and then we separately place our orders for new perennials to fill in the gaps in our existing gardens, or to populate the new beds we simply must have. Then, spring comes, the boxes start arriving (much to the chagrin of the UPS and FedEx drivers). Typically we get the plants either while we're on vacation, or just when we return, and we have a flurry of activity trying to get everything sorted, watered and reconditioned after shipping, and then in the ground as quickly as reasonably possible.

Both of us had new beds to put in this year. I started mine on our last day of vacation, when it ended up being 92 degrees. That is not the best weather to dig a new garden, trust me - especially a bed for sun-loving perennials, and one that required removing roots the size of my arm and as long as my leg. By the time it was all dug, turned, and ready for planting, I was still waiting for plants. For almost two weeks, the garden sat there in anticipation, waiting for something to happen other than a constant bombardment with maple tree 'helicopters'. Eventually, everything arrived; we made a few side trips to local plant shops, and I had enough little ones in the garden to feel comfortable. Down went the mulch. And out came the sun. And more sun, and more sun.

Evenings when I would have been writing, or at least thinking about writing, were spent watering - carefully and conservatively, of course - so that all my hard work wouldn't go to waste. Fortunately, my new mini roses, scabiosa, dwarf delphiniums, geraniums, verbascum, and all the rest, are doing well - and of course we've just had several days of rain, so they're actually coming along nicely.

So are the other gardens. The new daffs were great this year, all 300+ of them; the tulips were pretty good considering they're a few years old and not as prolific as when they're new; and now the roses and lavender have buds, the salvia is blooming, and of course, it's iris season too. Seemed like as soon as I changed from the tulip porch flag to the iris one, I triggered the blooms.

Even with all the rain we've had, they're holding up pretty well. Hopefully you'll understand where I've been, and I'll be able to get back on track with the pastiche.