It’s a funny thing arriving to the age I am and realizing that I’m too old for some things (i.e. miniskirts and all-night roller skating) and too young for others (i.e. a diary totally consisting of doctor visits and/or reading the obits each morning). This in-betweeness is a bit like being a teenager again except with a lot less energy! Perhaps that’s why this latest fascination of mine has taken hold.
The fact that I (instead of my mother or sister) ended up with this house still makes me laugh. The gardens here are extensive and ever since spring showed up my mother has been green with envy over not only the size of the gardens, but all the different sorts of plants we have that she’s not seen before.
From my earliest days, I remember her dragging us to the greenhouse as soon as spring hit to get some new blooms for around the house or to take to the graves at the cemetery. It was something that continued all through spring and summer. Flowers – planting them and nurturing them – have long been her thing. But even through all those trips, the only flower I could positively identify was a geranium.
When my sister bought a home, she too caught the gardening bug preferring to spend her days out of doors planning and planting. These days, she’s almost obsessed by it. It’s definitely her thing.
Me, on the other hand, I’ve never been one to want flowers around. Mostly, I confess, due to my great aversion to bees and bugs of any sort. To me, having flowers was an invitation to bees to come and make getting in and out of my doors a dangerous undertaking.
When spring hit this year – our first spring in this new home – blooms began appearing one by one and soon we realized the gardens were set to bloom in phases…..flowers would die in one place and others would spring up somewhere else – a virtual rainbow of colours coming out of the ground all the time. After spending the long winter here inside looking out upon white day after day, it became quite attracting – this bloomfest we had going on. Happily, the plants in place were ones that matched my own tastes and I really began to enjoy this. I found myself spending more and more time outside checking the changes each day and reporting to my mother and sister with many photos and excited e-mails. However, with the buds and blooms along came weeds! I was told by mother and sister, “Don’t touch! You don’t know what you’re doing! We’ll come and instruct you. We’ll help.” And so we waited. The neighbours nearby all started receiving great truckloads of mulch and spent many days spreading it around their own perfect little gardens. Our gardens sat here untouched. Soon, it was quite obvious the weeds were beginning to overtake the blooms and buds. Finally, my parents came for a visit and my mother patiently took me around showing me which things could be pulled, which should be trimmed, and what not to touch.
Husband and I got busy. It took a couple of weeks but finally it was time for mulch. Mulch was another new realm for us. Thankfully, a neighbour was most helpful in sharing where to order, how much she thought we would need, and what the heck to do with it after it arrived. We ordered 3 yards and spread it all in one day. We were told later the neighbours here were amazed that we managed that much. (Neighbours here a good bit older than us and amazingly must move even slower than I do now!)
Having gotten caught up and with the grounds now passing muster with the rest of the neighbourhood, I got interested in perpetuating this whole bloomfest idea. I passed a garden centre one day and it honestly looked so attractive and yet still a bit mysterious I just had to stop in. That first trip to a garden centre achieved a new flowering shrub and a small but awesome ornamental garden bench! After that trip, there were others bringing cool new plants and more flowering shrubs. I’ve acquired quite a few new hangouts….
A whole new world has been unveiled to me – gazing balls, statues, flags, benches, blooms of every colour, size, and shape. What I’ve learned in so short a time is astounding! I have a whole new vocabulary – I’m still not sure it’s even me when I hear myself naming all these flowers and trees. Finally, I begin to understand the attraction to this world my mother had always had. I can see sense in the ‘madness’ of visiting a greenhouse.
Another excursion earned us a new tree! There is a great fulfillment in planting a new tree of your choosing. I’m so happy we managed to do it this first year in the house. Now it will be part of our story here and we’ll watch it grow along with us. As a matter of fact, it felt so good to plant that tree (okay, to watch my husband plant that tree) that yesterday I came home with another new tree! My husband is beginning to see a pattern…..when I brought him out to the driveway upon my return yesterday, he got that certain look in his eye….the look that knows it’s time to get the work gloves and shovel. I wish I could reassure him. However, I am getting pretty good at recognizing growth – even the growth of an obsession. There’s a children’s book called, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie which talks about all the accoutrements that mouse is going to need to go with the cookie (i.e. glass of milk, a straw for the milk, etc.) I think that idea applies here too……if you give a girl a garden……