Of course, the plants are all going crazy - new daffodils every day, tulips growing so much that you can practically measure the difference from day to day, grass already needing to be mowed. It hasn't rained in weeks, so I'm forced to attend in-person to various denizens of the garden that would normally be fighting off rootrot from too-plentiful rain rather than facing death via parched soil. Tonight I watered all the tulips and daffodils. Do I need to? I'm not sure, but I know that normally they'd be wet this time of year, so it seemed like a good idea.
We went to Portland this weekend (check one thing off the big list of stuff I wanted to do this year), and went to Powells, best bookstore in the known world. I bought 25 books, a mix of new and used, nearly 2/3rds of them coming from the gardening and home design sections. Among my favorites is this lovely book, Garden House, about how to bring a sense of garden into your house's interior. Highly recommended. I'm on my second read-through, having flipped through it once to goggle over the pictures and then returned to the front to read every word.
We got home today at three and I immediately had to go to Swansons, our local gardening center extraordinaire, because Ken and Andrea, who we stayed with in Portland, had a flat of nasturtiums sitting on their front walk. Nasturniums already?
Those of you who garden know well the utter covetousness with which us gardening obsessives view such things, and immediately all that mattered was that I get me some of those and pronto.
I love nasturniums. I grew a huge pot of them last year that pleased me to no end (seen at right in early spring, before it bloomed). This year, I want them spilling over the sidewalk at the base of the rock wall, out front.
Sure enough, Swansons had them, and I put in ten Empress of India nasturtiums lining the front sidewalk, in the bed where the Old House tulips are coming up. By the time the tulips are over, the nasturniums should be ready to cover them up. They're dark red. Who knows how it will look. I seem to garden almost entirely based on instinct rather than careful planning.
It was a good gardening day - besides planting the nasturtiums, I also replaced a dead Munstead lavender in the hedge I planted last year, mixing in liberal quantities of sand to improve drainage, repotted a palm from my office, planted some lettuce starts that may be goners if we have a cold snap, and scooted three cascading ornamental oreganos that were delivered from High Country Gardens last week into the rock wall. Click the link and check these out - gorgeous. I can't wait to see them, even though I'll no longer be living in this house by then.
Which brings up and interesting point. I'm not going to be living in this house by June. Why am I still planting things?
- One, it's a sickness and I can't be helped. Thank god we're not actually selling this house because if we did, I'd probably get hit with a restraining order from the new owners, after coming over a few hundred times just to check one more thing out, just to prune one more branch off the euphorbia or tuck a little more mulch around my Sceptre d'Isle rose.
- Two, we still own it, and I'll probably continue caring for at least the parking strip for the rest of this summer, unless we lease it fast and/or lease it to a gardener. My low-water-use plants still need care for another year or so before it will become self-sustaining, and it needs just a li-i-i-i-iittle bit more help from me before I can abandon it.
If I'm still saying this in three years, someone smack me.
Ingrid, who's house we're buying, came over tonight to ask me if I'd like to see the beautiful cherry tree in her (soon to be my) back yard in full and very short-lived bloom. Of course I did! We went over to gaze lovingly at it, and then yakked a bit about her plants.
Each time I wander around their yard I get more excited about living there. I can't wait for the sheer sense of discovery, for the pleasures of tucking a few of my personal favorites (heliotropes, fennel, sunflowers) in here and there, and learning to care for it all. Next weekend, Ingrid's generously agreed to walk me around the yard in detail and let me write down her advice about caring for her plants.
After I finished talking with Ingrid, I wandered down to talk to Leslie, who has the coolest parking strip on the block, and chatted for a bit while she cut everything down in preparation for another growing season. She's going to give me a division of her great big huge grass plant she has growing next weekend - excellent! That goes in the current house, not in the new house, but I'm still thrilled to get it.
The people in this neighborhood = extraordinarily nice. I'm glad we're not leaving.