Living With Limitations: It Was Only Logical

 

Living With Limitations: It Was Only Logical

Frozen Falls

It Was Only Logical

 

Inevitable

It would seem the inevitable cannot be stopped, only delayed.

I delayed putting away Christmas decorations, both inside and out, for a full week longer than normal to see if that would help. Nope. I had friends over for dinner who were not gardeners and I did not speak of gardening or a plant all evening long. Even I did not know I could accomplish that one. All to no avail.

All the little green noses I was so overjoyed to see so early are now under the first significant snow fall of the season. Snow does make it difficult to see one inch green noses under a three inch thick blanket of snow. Before the days of climate change one could expect a winter that was winter and it was a constant companion. Now I am continually teased by yo-yo temperatures that give me a glimpse, then snows on my parade. Before I could pretend to be patient for there was no choice.

It Was Only Logical

I am afraid what little patience I may have had melted and ran down the drain like melting snow. So, logic follows that what is inevitable will come to pass. Yes, it was inevitable that I would purchase a plant (maybe two) for my garden in the coming season. I could no long delay what was to come and I placed my first order of the year, and it is only mid-January. I won’t even get to see or pick up the plants until mid-April.

For the Defense

In my defense, I met up with forces beyond my control. From the “good old days” when I owned a nursery I still receive occasional wholesale catalogs. I can no longer order twenty of this and fifty of those for a “total dollar amount order”, but I can still dream over the color photos and descriptions. This time it was a catalog of shrubs. All the dwarf, semi-dwarf colorful foliage shrubs that many of the retailers would be selling in decent sizes this coming season. I spoke of the catalog to a friend who manages a small garden center and she said “drop off the catalog and I will see what I can do”. I circled shrubs of interest, ones I already had, and gave her the catalog. Couple of weeks later she sent me a listing of shrubs she would be ordering which included many on my lust list.

Unknown witch-hazel cultivar blooming in my garden.

Oh, MY!

Oh, my. I now have access to nine of the shrubs on my lust list in three gallon sizes. I have agreed to take five when they arrive and probably will return for some or all of the other four. Fellow gardeners, that is pure, undulated, craziness for someone who has a problem carrying a heavy spade up the hill into the garden, much less dig and transplant shrubs. But, that will be in April, and today I am strong enough to carry my dreams of spring.

Visions

I found Diervilla Kodiak Orange to play companion to the D. Black transplanted last spring. Two dwarf Hydrangea, Tuff Stuff Ah-Ha, and H. Tuff Stuff Red to go with H. Little Tuff Stuff I transplanted last summer. I continue to be fired up with Spirea, and selected the new Double Play Gold, then picked another Weigela Monet Sunset to go with last years’ Midnight Wine.

Now I will be anticipating pickup of the order for the next two months.

Keep reading. A big event you won’t want to miss is in the works. Coming soon (well, relatively)

Living With Limitations: Impatient

Living With Limitations: Impatient

Little green noses of Snowdrops (Galanthus) emerging

Impatient

I keep telling myself it is far better to be patient than to become a patient. There is also the one saying it is easier to practice tranquility as a monk than when up to your unmentionables in alligators. All to say, being a gardener in the middle of winter in the mid-West can certainly tax one’s patience.

Here I am going into the second week of January and I have been ready for spring since opening my last gift at Christmas. At New Year’s celebration I had more than one glass of wine, so was not caring about spring’s arrival. I had almost, but not quiet, accepted that it was winter, just relax and think about something else like putting my tax information in order.

Walking Fern

Temptation in a Text

Then it happened. A gardening buddy located further south sent me a text with multiple photos of plants in bud, green foliage and real blooms. My toenails turned warm, my heart skipped a beat, then speeded up. The pupils in my eyes opened to the max. I wiped the drool from the screen of my cell phone, pushed down my sense of envy and returned with a polite thank you. Now he had done it. All reservations were off, my calm acceptance of 2 more months of winter flew out the window along with any tranquility I may have had. I laced up my boots, put on coat and hat and headed for my hillside garden. It is on the north side of a hill so

Foliage and buds of Helleborus foetidus

I know it is a bit later than other gardens, but I had to find something to calm my cravings.

Green is a Color

If one accepts the premise of green is a color, then my garden is not looking too shabby. I have some conifers, but not near enough. There are creeping evergreen shrubs such as Creeping Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), Partridge berry (Mitchella repens), Sweetbox, (Sarcococca hookerana var humilis) and several Epimediums to name but a few. In perennials there are Evergreen Solomon’s Seal (Disporopsis pernyi), Hellebore hybrids and species (Helleborus) throughout the garden, and new, fresh, bright green crinkly green leaves of Primula with plump buds in the middle. Several locations of Hardy Cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium) with silver and green foliage, and of course, the arrowhead-shaped variegated green leaves of Black Calla (Arum italicum).

Probably only a gardener could get excited over one inch, plump blades, of emerging green noses of Snowdrops (Galanthus), or the knobby knees of Adonis pushing through the mulch.

Remiss

I would be seriously remiss if I did not include ferns such as our native Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), our Walking Fern (Camptosorus rhizophyllus), the Tassel fern (Polystichum polyblepharum) and Autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora). If it is a shade garden then the different species of moss must be mentioned. We have had a wet winter and mosses have never looked more fresh and bright.

We Want Blooms

I see and I am appreciative of my January garden and the days that we have clear skies and temperatures agreeable to a pleasant stroll. I am certainly glad that I remembered to transplant the delayed gratification of plants rewarding my efforts with color in the bleak winter months. Green is good. Some of the green shifts to bronze, red, copper, and darker shades to absorb the winter rays, adding to the reason for a walk.

But, having sang the praises of the color green, the wonders of colorful foliage, we all know gardeners will not be truly happy, never satisfied, unto we see the first plump bud unfold signaling the beginning of another gardening season.

We want blooms! We want blooms! We want blooms!

 

Keep reading. A big event you won’t want to miss is in the works. Coming soon (well, relatively)

Gardening with Limitations: No Promises Made

Gardening with Limitations:No Promises Made

Witch-Hazel tree in winter bloom

Not Making Any Promises

I am not making any promises to myself this year, but, I do have a mental list of dreams I have had at 3 AM while in and out of sleep.

Confucius
Both the Bible and Confucius used a version of the quote “The green reed which bends in the wind is stronger than the mighty oak which breaks in a storm.” I also like “stop banging your head against a brick wall.” My hard copy calendar for this year has the heading of a single word. “Adapt”. My 3 AM mantra is “Accept, Adapt, Relax” into my CPAP mask, over and over until I drift back to sleep. Of course the trick is to awaken to a world I have accepted, adapted to reality and learned to become so laid back I will need roller-skates on the back of my hat. Here I am and I have a disease, but that disease does not have me.

Visions
While some dream of dancing sugar plum fairies over the holidays I go for visions of my garden in the coming year. I can see with perfect clarity what could be, then imagine in detail what I want it to be. How I plan to “make it so”. I can see into the future of the coming year, the steps needed to see my dreams with waking eyes. My visions are in color, so there are times when it is as if I were watching a movie; then I have trouble getting back to sleep for my mind has awakened.

Reoccurring

Wintergreen in Snow

My dreams of gardening are often reoccurring, and the amazing thing is, no matter how often the same dream repeats, they never become boring (can one become bored with their own dreams?). The dreams may have the same outline, but the details are different; the colors brighter, a different shrub, a slightly different arrangement of the same plants. Perhaps a different section of the garden.
While I was working on one specific area of the garden last fall and weather forced me out before I completed my project, my dreams keep returning to that one spot left bare. I see a hibiscus with foliage the color of a summer thunderstorm, a Weigela with dark ruby red foliage and another with variegated foliage of golden sunsets. If my wallet allows, perhaps a Spirea in golden foliage and blooms. The shrubs keep floating around creating arrangements of themselves somewhat like those dancing sugarplums.

A Narrow View
There is an area in my garden that runs along a path and is narrow, making it hard to design. To complete the picture I have never been able to get anything to grow well either in reality or my dreams. Now I am seeing visions of containers. Containers revealed to me in a chance encounter at a garden center. Ella is the brand name and they will be square in outline color of teak brown. Three in different sizes, heights and all filled with ferns.

Come spring I will find the differences between reality and dreams, but for now, what would a gardener do without dreams of his next garden?

 

2019 Begins a new series of Blogs. What does one do after they find themselves living with limitations in life and in gardening? I will be sharing my new  life  in 2019.