Hooray!!! There are signs of life in the garden! Not just the birds and squirrels that have been present throughout most of the winter, but actual flowers; some color other than the drab brown of dormant grass.
Soon I will be able to get out there and start working on one of the many projects that I have planned for this year. Downsizing, mostly. I decided, reluntantly, last autumn to go with quality rather than quantity.
When we moved into our present location many years ago there was nothing but unkempt lawn and overgrown shrubbery around the foundations of the house. Having inherited my parents love for gardening, they had an awesome garden when they lived in England, I decided, with their help, to transform the property from blah to, hopefully, beautiful.
We started out small with a little rock garden where we planted spring bulbs; crocus, snowdrops, squill and grape hyacinth to name but a few. We tore out the shrubbery and dug flower beds all the way around the house, planting daffodils, tulips, daylilies and iris.
Not content with that, I started ripping out great chunks of lawn. The flower beds grew like some over-paid athlete on steroids. Peonies, roses, oriental poppies, allium and dozens of other plants were added to the mix.
I sprinkled flower seeds around and saw zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, nigella, four-o-clocks and cleome come up almost overnight. Throughout the year we collected the seeds from these and, after saving enough to sow again the following year, we would put the rest in envelopes, printed with names and pictures of contents, on a table by the sidewalk so anyone walking by could help themselves.
Taking care of all that was hard work but we enjoyed it and were happy to share the fruits of our labor with anyone who came by. We live on a corner lot so there are always walkers going past and people driving their kids to the school just around the corner.
We’ve been included in a couple of garden club walks, had photographers stop by to take pictures, and a group of schoolteachers who paid us a visit. I even had a woman arrive early one morning to ask if I could spare a few peony petals as her daughter was getting married that day and she thought it would be nice if they could scatter a few along the aisle in church.
Dad was in charge of cutting the grass. Letting him loose on the flower beds was taking a bit of a chance as he had a tendency to dig up the plants and leave the weeds. Mum helped with the weeding and deadheading and continued to do so right up until the day before she passed away.
Now that they are both gone, and I’m feeling my age beginning to creep up on me, I figured I’d make things a bit easier on myself and convert some of the flower beds back into lawn. I started at the end of last year, grassing over one of the smaller beds. I managed to save most of the plants, cramming them in with the remaining stuff, but this year will be more of a challenge as I tackle the bed that runs the whole length of the front of the property. I suspect that I will be giving away a lot more than the usual perennial divisions this autumn.