Monday, May 26, 2008

Garden vs. Suppers

My husband has given me the talk already ... in fact, I think I've gotten it twice, maybe three times. It's 5:30 p.m. and the family is getting restless.

"Dear, I know you love your garden and tending to it and looking at it. But you're neglecting some things - like suppers."

My first reaction is defensive-mode. What do you mean? I always fix something for the girls. Ramen noodles, chicken noodle soup, salads - and on a good night - fishsticks! The kids are outside, the teenager is gone and somtimes I postpone that whole idea of "dinner."

But I know what he's getting at. My husband has an absent wife on most nights from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Once I get in the door from work, I quickly don my garden gear: baggy shorts, ratty T-shirt and my knock-off Crocs. I strap on my iPod or radio headset and listen to the Twins game while I go about my business of weeding, introspection and frustration.

"I'll do better," I tell him.

But I've heard the girls fuss a little more too.

"Mom, aren't we going to eat"?

"You love that garden more than me!"

"I'm going to eat at the neighbor's house."

My sister used to tell me that I needed a wife. I think she's right - I'm now ready for one. And if you find one for me, tell her to put the roast in the oven .... I gotta move this iris before the Twins game comes on.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spring at last!

A labor of love from my husband for Mother's Day

Hello bloggers - it's good to be back! I haven't been writing lately because, well, I've been gardening! The snow has melted (the last snowfall we had was about 10 days ago - it's May for crying out loud!) and there 's been a lot to do since then.

As you can see in the photo above, my husband promised to expand my garden this spring and I held him to his promise. With shovel in hand, he dug, and dug, and dug and loaded fresh dirt into a larger space in our backyard. He finished it off with new edgers that look great against our newly stained deck. I've been busy filling it with perennials I've moved or divided. I think in another month it'll start to really thrive.

With spring comes the inevitably inventory of what made it through the winter. Sad to say these plants didn't make it:

  • Sunray coreopsis

  • Gaillardia

  • Veronica

  • Ken Donson clematis

  • one barberry bush

  • Jacob Cline monarda (I know - monarda! Just when you thought nothing could kill it)

  • One catmit (that's because the snowblower got it). It still might be salvageable!

Oh well, a lot of my other transplanted stuff is thriving - the ligularia and lungwort are going gangbusters and the one phlox I thought I destroyed has sprouted to life again.

Mommy's little helper in the garden

This time of year is pretty tough for me as I have no willpower. I've visited the local white hoop flower shop in the grocery store parking lot at least 5 times since it's opened last week. I've been to darn near every nursery in Fargo, not to mention big box retailer garden centers. I have to see what's new and am so enticed by all the colorful blooms. Here's what I've done new this year so far:

Cannas! My co-worker dug up all of his canna bulbs when he moved from Indiana to Fargo and graciously shared them with me. He came in to my office with no less than about 40 bulbs. Really, you can only have so many cannas. I probably planted a good 7 or 8 and the rest I shared with friends and other co-workers. Not sure how a tropical-looking plant will look in my landscape but I'm willing to give it a shot. I hear they are no-maintenance and rabbits don't care for them. Nice ...

A new clematis - Ernest Markham. It's supposed to have reddish-pinkish flowers that I think will look tremendous next to my salvia caradonna and rudebekia. Clematis and I have had a tough relationship over the years. Let's hope a new variety will be good karma for me.

Red coreoposis - different than the sunray coreoposis - more mound-like. I hope it doesn't get as invasive as the pink - I was digging those out of my garden bed for two years.

More to follow ...