I love the earth, compost, live green plants, flowers, vegetables, herbs and sitting out in the garden, even cutting the grass with my push mower. I love July when I can go out and pick black raspberries from the large patch. I hate chemicals, thunderstorms, wasps, mosquitoes and racoons. But I love birds and respect skunks. I give weeds nicknames matching the banes in my life. When the going gets rough, I march out into the garden and yank out the weeds.
No fences in my front garden. Only Raggedy Annie stands guard against all intruders – animal or people (the latter if not invited), except for the kitty next door. Raggedy Annie became even more tattered. So in the spring of 2014 I gave her a new T-shirt, stuffed the shoulders, tied on a bright red scarf, pinned on a new hat, and re-created her face.
Despite a harsh 2015 winter, my rosebushes came back – slowly, except for the white roses to the left. They arrived with a splash and the others followed. This photo was taken in late spring before the all red ones (I thought they were dead) and the white ones by the corner of the house finally sprung. I had to do a lot of cutting back in this white rose area so they would come back. My mother grew roses – her pride and joy. Maybe I take after her.
Gardening by Serendipity
In the deep snow and cold of winter, I do the annual garden planning ritual – worship at the Canada Blooms show, read the gardening magazines, and make lists from the seed catalogues, and order some vegetable and flower seeds. This year I had to order a new pair of garden gloves. The ones I had for five years started getting a few finger holes the end of last season. All that weeding, etc. I suppose Then I open my garden notebook and start sketching my garden – front and back of the house – adding names of plants marked in the catalogues and magazines. However, in spring and summer, I look at the actual garden, and use my intuition to make my planting decisions. I don’t have to purchase many perennials or annuals because things just seem to happen serendipitously in my garden. I do plant a vegetable garden but even here some veggies seem to pop up unexpectedly – onions, garlic, and of course the every-spreading oregano herb and dandelions. The latter is pretty in yellow but messy and spreading in white fluff balls. I dig out as many as I can. Last year I did have to plant a new sage plant as the old one, given to me long ago by a neighbour, finally died from the harsh 2014-2015 winter. But I now have a dehydrator and plan to dry lots of herbs.
When the snow melts, but before the air and earth are warm enough to dig in, I’m outside, looking in awe at the flowers poking up from the ground –tulips and day lilies very early this year. Some show up in their usual spot, but many appear in unexpected places. In fall I am too busy to draw diagrams of the bulbs’ location because they don’t necessarily stay put. Mr. and Mrs. Squirrel and all their cousins play “musical bulbs.”
As the seasons unfold, the plant serendipities continue. Some plants pop up from spreading seeds – silver pennies, yarrow (including a clump in my front lawn and another clump between patio slabs), and lamb’s ears.
I use a combination of intuition, colour schemes, plant type, plant texture, blooming time, and plant gifts for my gardening decisions. So, spring and fall, I divide, dig and move some of the plants. Consciously I never know how it will actually turn out, but I know my garden knows best.