Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Can't Talk. Gardening.

Of course, the title of this post is said in your best Homer Simpson.

I suspect there is something very wrong with me.

This year, as he does every year, Charles asked me what I wanted to have / do for Mother's Day. And this year, as I have invariable chosen for every single Mother's Day, I chose a trunk full of plants and the time to plant them. Not a nice brunch, not the day lolling in bed, not time alone at the mall with a credit card, not diamonds. Hard labor and dirt so embedded in the skin of my hands that it won't scrub off, but has to be worn off.

Obviously, it is the second half of the wish that is the vital part.

So, with an eye to the sky and the online weather radar, we set out Saturday morning to a decently sized Midwestern nursery (small by Northwestern standards, but you take what you can get) and grabbed a huge wagon, about the size of 8 of those little red wagons. I headed first to the tomatoes, as the rain began to fall. 45 minutes or so later, with Sara and Charles back in the car, doughty Colin and I pulled that laden cart through the innards of the store to the check-out line. The poor checker tried to put a brave face on it and did smile at me, but I saw her shoulders sag. 20 minutes and many, many dollars later, we loaded the booty into the rear of el minivan. With the back filled, (including the area where the rear seat usually is) as per wish, we headed home. The heavens then parted and the clouds fled.


My deal with myself was that I would plant when it wasn't raining. I had been counting on being forced to nap and read as it stormed outside. But a deal is a deal and out I dashed. 5 hours and 42 4" perennial pots later, the front beds actually look like the beginnings of a garden. If they live, this time next year it should be more green than mulch. I also ripped out miles of weed-block that was under the mulch (my approach to weeds is to plant and mulch so densely that weeds have no chance), and removed one of 3 hated cinquefoil that live in the middle of the bed.

The next day, Sunday, it still was not raining, so I put the few remaining plants in the back, and was thankful that the tiller had no gas. I also schlepped several wheelbarrow loads of last year's horse shit, which is this year's compost into the raised vegetable bed that we built. Just needs tilling and topsoil and then I just stick the plants in and glare. And mulch. And water. And glare some more. Isn't gardening good for the soul and one's mental well-being? All for a month-or-two's worth of produce.

So what did I plant? Skip this unless you have some blinding and sad need to know. Only the most plant-obsessed of us will find this remotely interesting.

OK. In the front: Lupines of various types, Pacific Giant delphinium (mistakenly got the dwarf ones last year and will move them toward the front at some point), Icelandic poppy, various penstimon, nautia, something else similar whose name escapes me, globe flower, another something similar and also yellow, several different evening primrose, hardy geraniums, obedient plant, bell flowers and balloon flowers. Also two of something that I've never heard of and really don't remember grabbing and have no idea what it is as I threw out the pots and can't remember the name or even what it starts with (maybe an "S" or an "N"?) but what the hell, let's see what comes up. There were some other plants that I am forgetting, but you get the picture. I also put in bare-root phlox and dahlias.

In the back: bleeding heart, clemati, rosemary for the herb garden and some freesia bulbs.

All in all, about 100 plants.

It's a good thing Mother's Day only comes once a year. Pass the Advil. And the masseuse.

Oh, OH! I forgot to tell about Colin's Mother's Day gift, made by his own hands and composed by his own mind:

Mom Poem
by Colin

My mom is as beautiful as a flower
My mom smells nice
My mom looks like my dad
I love my mom because she tickles me

It was framed nicely with pictures and stickers of hearts, bugs, flowers, a box of chocolates and a photo of him next to tulips. Adorable.

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Blogger The Lioness said...

Thank god for Colin, needed cheering up. And for flowers and gardens.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Hmmm, my fetus didn't get ME anything for Mother's Day. Next year, the little Freeloader better pay up - little ingrate. :-)

Sounds like you had a great mother's day!

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh your garden sounds loverly. I too ask for flowers/plants for M's day and then have to do the work to get them in the ground, except when I get hanging baskets, which I love!



2:16 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

L- Yeah, he really is a great kid. This was the 1st "real" Mother's Day thing he made for me. I'll send a photo of the posies when things are blooming, in a couple of months or so.

Cagey- Those fetuses are so self-absorbed! Next year you will probably get a grin complete with a few teeth! And maybe some drool and spit-up. Don't wear anything that needs the dry-cleaners.

Kismet- Howdy! I recognize you from Rozanne's place. You are from Portland, right? I moved here from there 5 years ago and it is where I got my gardening bug. I love hanging baskets, but out here they dry out so fast that the constant watering in the heat makes me avoid them.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Mojavi said...

I am so jealous of all of your gardens. I totally have a dead thumb :) no green here, your mothers day sounded nice :)

4:32 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Mojavi- After you get used to the lovely cleaning ladies, you lobby for a garden crew. Voila! instant garden. Plus, just because I spent money and stuck them in the ground, doesn't mean that any will live. If the climate doesn't do them in, the bugs, deer and ground squirrels burrowing under everything take their toll. Sigh. I hear plastic plants are hard to kill...

5:13 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

100 plants.

One Hundred Plants!!!!!!

And it took you less than a full day to plant them all? I am in awe.

I am one of those people who appreciates it when people list every single plant they just bought on their blog, so whenever you do that you'll know that at least one person reads through the whole list. Go ahead and give the Latin names, if you wish. It's all good.

You planted some of my faves: Iceland poppy, delphiniums, hardy geraniums, bellflowers, and balloon flowers. Thumbs up also on the clematis, the dahlias, and the bleeding heart.

What a lovely poem Colin wrote. However, even though I have an English degree, I am unable to interpret this line:

"My mom looks like my dad"


10:26 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rozanne- No, no, had to plant the last bit the next day but did get most of them planted in 1 day. Need will truly force you to do the herculean task. I love that 3rd line from the poem best. I guess if you count up all our features, we look more alike than different: 2 eyes, one nose, 2 arms..., however, aside from hair color, nah, not so much with the look-alikes.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

I have a friend who looks so much like her husband that people mistake them for brother and sister (yes, ewwwww). Anyway, it was a big joke when she had her daughter because we already knew what she would look like! hee hee

1:44 PM  
Blogger Gerah said...

I had a similar wish, on a much smaller scale... My dream included only a rhododendrun (sp?), which I'm still waiting for. I did manage to remove all the sod in front of our house which was formerly a front lawn and split a million hostas to create a front "shade garden."

I am anti-grass and pro perennial. Some day my complete vision will become a reality. SOME DAY!

3:01 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Cagey- That would be really akward!

Gerah- My style of gardening as well! Do you have much luck with the rhododendrons in your part of MI? I have not tried them. Back in Portland, they basically grow wild but I have not seen them in anyone's yard here.

6:34 PM  

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