Sunday, January 20, 2008

Catalogue dreams

Winter is the time for catalogue dreams and I'm trying to keep from ordering everything I see right now... patience! I almost gave in and used those great coupons in my favorite catalogue that have a January deadline, but at the last minute, hung up the phone and put my list aside. Patience!
If I give in to my collecting impulse, the baby plants will be piling up on the doorstep at Late April, early May planting time, and I'll be frantically looking for the right place for each plant. I love that time of year, I've relished that frantic planting in past years, it is great fun, BUT!
#1. I'm on a budget.
#2. I'm looking to downsize our gardens in terms of maintenance.
and #3. We just had two huge trees removed from our small lot over the course of the past year and I need to relocate shade plants from those spots and re-purpose or re-design those two areas. Two sixty foot tall, 50-year old Colorado Blue Spruces with pretty bad cases of suspected Cytospera cost a pretty penny for an arborist to take down, but I am relieved to have them finally taken out.
No more constant irritation of fallen spruce needles tracked indoors. No more putting on the grandbaby's shoes to protect their tender feet before they go outdoors to play. No more sticky spruce sap on the driveway and the car. No nagging worry about a good wind knocking them over, or the threat of accident as we incrementally pruned off the diseased branches.
It will be interesting to see what changes will be forthcoming in those spots with the alteration of water and light. I won't do any immediate landscaping, other than the serendipitous plantings of some plants I already had in pots which I needed to put somewhere and I did last fall. I'll be patient and wait and see how the areas respond to their new conditions and will take time to dream about what to do.

Putting on my sober realist cap, I need to admit I have more than enough to do this spring, so my catalogue dreams will be reigned in, and instead of looking for planting spots for the dianthuses I have my heart set on, this spring I'll be standing around in the yard with bushels of hostas in my arms to transplant before the weather turns hot. Fun, anyway.


A warm and cheery fire roars merrily
And shadows dance about the darkened room.
Beside the hearth a gardener sits and dreams
Of sunny days, of flowers in full bloom.
Some hollyhocks should tower near the fence,
Bright red. ones that the bees can't help but find.
The trellis at the gate again must wear
Blue morning glories, or the rosy kind.
To lend a bit of distance to the scene,
Close to the rear I'll plant in shades of blue:
The tall and stately larkspur, double ones?
Of course I'll put in scabiosa, too.
I couldn't do without a pansy bed?
Snapdragons make such beautiful bouquets?
Frilled zinnias and yellow marigolds
Add just the proper touch to autumn days.
The flowers grow and bloom with loveliness
Until a sound destroys the fantasy?
A burning ember falls and I must leave
My garden and my charming reverie.

by Helen Bath Swanson

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