Thursday, January 18, 2007

Waiting for Spring

You know, when the winter solstice came, I thought about doing a post, but it's really hard to feel the Return of the Sun when you wake up and it's still DARK out. When you just know, in your animal brain, that you really should just go back to sleep until it's actually dawn.

But no! I didn't write that post. So instead, here's the remixed version with some Depth of Winter Whining.

It's Thursday and yet...there's no snow storm! How can this be? Oh, wait - never fear - looks like it's just been moved out to Saturday for this week. OK then, back to winter. Well, except that the temperature has been in the single digits I guess we never escaped it.

Have I mentioned my torrid love affair with books? Only rivaled by my passionate love of gardening, which is thwarted by my decided lack of funds. However, this is rectified by my "discovery" of the local library and their assortment of books that they are willing to loan you. For free! I know! Novel concept! I avoided the library for years because as a kid it was something like a 20 block walk (In NYC there's no mileage, you count everything by blocks.) to the library which meant that it was inevitable that I would be late in returning them. There are only so many 10 cent late fees a kid (and her folks) can handle before they discover that they're better off just not going and instead borrowing everyone else's books. Fast forward to my seriously flush years and you'll see the results on my shelves: I have my very own gardening reference section.

I bought the Encyclopedia of Gardening and the matching A-Z of Garden Plants as well just because I could (and I sure didn't get them at discount prices, either! Eek!). I've learned and forgotten more Latin plant names than any non-professional should ever know and I've taught my mom (whom I thought was knowlegable about all things green and growing) a thing or two about the plants in her yard, way up in Canada. Today and you'll see me poring over the 5 books I took out from the library: The Perennial Gardener's Design Primer, the Theme Gardens book, The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Flowers from Seed to Bloom (I really need my own copy of this book) and a couple others on container and water gardening. I'm so frantic for plants and color and sun and warmth that I can't actually focus on reading just one of them from cover to cover and am instead jumping around and distracted by beautiful, color drenched photos.

However, I am gladdened by the thought of what's going to come up in my garden this coming year. Considering the sheer amount of work I put into it last fall, with the beginnings of a massive remodel, it should really be something to behold. Well...either this year or next year. Either way - I've got flowers coming! The hard part is waiting and not continually comparing myself (and disparaging my own work) to the gardens of a) professionals and b) mature gardens. Mine is very nice and will get nicer over time as it a) matures and b) I get more of a gardening clue.

Here's a picture of the front garden in July:

I added dozens and dozens (Hundreds? Not unlikely!) more plants by the end of summer and completely changed the plants along side the stairs and removed the Shrub of Doom. I also completely tore up the backyard and put in another whole bunch of plants.

Here it is in early September.

The backyard is too horrible to show you Before pictures of it. I'll photograph it in the spring and then go from there.

Maybe this year I'll finish work on the side yard. You know, the part that I tore up and ran out of steam/time/warm weather to finish? Yeah, that project!

Exciting item of note: I'm going to start hundreds and hundreds more plants from seeds this spring as well as taking cuttings like mad of many other plants and then (Hopefully!) sell them. Like for real. At the Farmer's Market. For money. With Heather. I'm starting a new career and it's going to involve plants. It's gonna be great! Lots of planning involved. Must work on that during the dark winter.

So what are you doing while you wait for Spring?


Green Bean said...

Beautiful yard! I love seeing photos of front yards sans the ubiquitous green strip. Thank you for sharing.

Chile said...

That's a wonderful yard! Our neighbors across the street have xeriscaping with natives whereas the owner of our rental house used some native, some non-native. By ignoring the need to weed, I've finally allowed some of the neighbor's flowers to get established in my yard.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Thank you both!

Natives are great, as are non-natives but plants that grow in similar climates around the globe. Which is what I have - a mixture of both.

And hummingbirds, which was the whole point. Yay!

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