A few years ago, Rick and I experienced some losses that left me uninterested in a lot of the things that I loved to do. Baking, writing, and gardening were just of a few of the things that I left by the wayside as I struggled to accept what had happened. I'm still working on regaining those lost interests and this year was the first year that I was ready to dig my hands into the soil.
It felt good.
I was happy to see that many of the perennials I had planted years ago were still growing: peonies, roses, moonflowers, foxglove, mexican-something-or-other, and my sage plant which had easily quadrupled in size and was waving purple flowers at me. The strawberry bed has grown immensely and today I ate the first strawberry of the season from it!
It was delicious. Maybe this year will be the year I have enough not only to have some for eating and strawberry ice cream but also the year's strawberry jam? My fingers are crossed. I discovered my poor dead blueberry bush isn't dead at all--it was sending up shoots!--so that means anything can happen.
It's hard to believe that from one bedraggled strawberry plant Maia brought home in a Dixi cup five years ago that I hurriedly stuck in the ground so it wouldn't die that I now have a strawberry patch that is about 3 feet by 8 feet. I've also given people cuttings from it, transplanted more to other parts of my yard, and finally just whacked up great armfuls of plants that were trying to take over the lawn and heaved them in the trash. Lately, I've wondered--do you think my neighbors would mind if I let them take over my entire front yard?
A few days ago and then again today, I went to the store and I think I might have gone a little bit crazy. I picked up a some vegetable and fruit starts: cucumbers, squash, zucchini, four different types of tomatoes and four types of peppers. The tomatoes and peppers are in containers for growing on my front porch as it gets the most sun. I don't expect a high yield but if I were able to make a batch or two of salsa? I'd be very happy.
I picked up a few annuals that were on sale: lobelia, geraniums, petunias, and French marigolds but mostly I brought home perennials which are my favorite. Astilbe, Pink Swirl Dianthus, Delphiniums, Iceland Poppies, Snow Fountain Gaura, and a red flower that is on long, long stems that looks as if it would be fitting in a Dr. Seuss book that I unfortunatley don't know what it's called. I hadn't ever seen it before which is part of the reason why I purchased it and the tag seems to have gone missing.
Call these what you will--violas or pansies but I will always, always call them Johnny Jump Ups. I had these a few years ago, and sure enough for a couple years it seemed a new little one was jumping up in the most unexpected place! These were the only flowers that disappeared from my garden and I couldn't bring home a new one fast enough.
Of course, I picked up a few more herbs to supplement the ones I brought home from Quiet Creek Farm. I have purple and sweet basil, rosemary, oregano, mint, and creeping thyme all tucked in here and there. On a whim, I brought home a raspberry cane last Saturday but I have no idea where to put it or how much sun it needs. I mean to look it up, find a home for it, and hope for the best.
Rick says at our new office there's a long swath of grass that if I want, I can dig up and plant it with all the vegetables that I want. It's a little late in the season to get started on such a project because I think the wall will have to repaired in one spot and I also need to chart the amount of sun that reaches the ground. Then, I'll have to prepare the ground and decide what I want to plant and where exactly. I think I'll take my time with planning and preparing this plot and have it ready for next spring. If it's suitable it would be perfect to supplement what I can grow at home with my extremely limited sun.
I'm so glad to planting and planning again!