Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mistress Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

I'm no green thumb. My love for nature is strong for wild scapes and unkempt tangles, forests, overgrown gardens, and wildflower meadows. Bordered walks and garden beds are not my cup of tea. Don't get me wrong, gardens are beautiful and it is an art form to be able to effectively plan and maintain them. I especially love Japanese style gardens. But I am not particularly good at cultivation. I am not a horticulturalist, you might say. My mother is and all my knowledge of gardening comes from her and I yet rely heavily on her skill. Fall however, is my favorite time to garden because Fall gardening means bulbs and bulbs mean mostly easy to maintain perennials! Seriously, you take a bulb and you put it in the dirt and then in March or April you have flowers, for years. So easy. I love it. It's like a springtime surprise, especially because you've probably forgotten what you planted.

So anyway, I bought bulbs the other day to plant in the two planters on either side of our mailbox. They are currently chilling in the fridge (haha, get it, chilling because it's cold...but also because they're hanging out...and... okay...) because it's still in the 80s and bulbs need cool weather to put them to sleep for the winter. I bought some golden ducat daffodils, which are lovely. Everyone loves daffodils, they're the golden heralds of Spring. I also bought some Queen of the Night tulips, also known (incorrectly) as black tulips. Such a gorgeous plum color and I am very excited to meet them next spring. While the bulbs wait for a dip in the temperature, I will be digging up the hastas from the back yard and planting a Persian lilac. [Side note: did you know hasta is Latin for 'spear'? Hastas bloom purple buds at the tip of long, thin, stalks, somewhat akin to spears. Just fyi.] I adore lilacs and viburnum and flowers that give off delicious fragrance. I couldn't find a viburnum bush but will keep looking (I intend to replace a boxwood in the front with viburnum). So, the lilac is going in as soon as I find time to transplant it because I want it to develop some more root structure before winter. I started with one, I'm concerned it won't make it through the winter and it was $16. If it thrives, I'll get more next year.

Come spring I'm hoping to rip out yet another boxwood (I hate boxwood) and replace it with lavender and lambs ear, as well as a mint patch lining the driveway. If I could figure out a way of adding tiger lilies to this odd assortment of flowers, I would. Or bleeding hearts, so pretty. They don't have a scent but I always thought they should.

P.S. Just in case you don't know the rhyme:
Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
how does your garden grow?
With silver bells
and cockle shells
and pretty maids all in a row.

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