It is that time of year again…yes, it’s gardening season!
I come from a long line of green thumbs, however I was not blessed with this particular super power. Not to worry though, I have many experienced gardeners in my circle and they provide help, advice, support and probably quiet judgement of my inadequacies. I think my problem stems from not having a clear idea of what I am trying to achieve…kind of like how I live my life…is there a lesson here?? Just… never mind, let’s stick to the simplicity of plants and leave the existential debate for another time shall we?
So here is my general issue, rather than create a plan with a colour scheme, over-all planting chart and seasonal blooming schedule, I typically just buy whatever picture on the bag or ‘unfurled glimmer of promise-in-a-pot’ takes my fancy and I definitely, almost always, fail to make choices ‘appropriate for the growing environment’. This has resulted in a shaggy, haphazard mess of random foliage that doesn’t match or segue from one flowering moment to the next in any kind of organized or pleasing or even successful way.
So, having identified my trouble areas, I decided to start choosing flowers that have at least a common hue. I was totally beguiled by some black tulips last Fall (really just a midnight shade of purple) and then this Spring I found some black lilies and another deep plum variety of dahlia. I was so impressed by my restraint and hurried back home to put them in the ground whereupon I was rudely teased by my daughter for having sowed an ‘Emo’ garden, which is apparently the Gen Z re-named ‘Goth’ garden which, I assume, takes root (haha, pun intended!) from the ‘Punk’ garden of my youth which, by the way, was never actually a ‘thing’ anyway so what the heck is she even talking about? Still, I guess I did go ‘dark’ (figuratively and literally) so I returned to the nursery to find some lighter tints to brighten my Morticia Addams-esque parterre.
Well that was a giant mistake! Apparently I am only good for one thoughtful and disciplined plant shopping effort per season. After all that care and concern to pull my front yard together in a coordinated way, I completely succumbed to the twinkle of the shiny, the pretty, the often temperamental and definitely to the ‘finicky-growing-conditions-needed’ wonders of the floral community and came away with another chaotic batch of beauties that will no doubt sprout a few succulent leaves to nourish my local squirrel population and then wither and die back to a slimy pile of mulch.
Right now, you may be thinking, ‘well, that’s a prematurely pessimistic prediction mais non?’ but having been there time and time again, I know whereof I speak! That and of course…fat squirrels.
Alas, the dream continues. I may be forever seduced by aspirations of a lush and fragrant personal Eden but in the absence of achieving that goal, I will have to enjoy learning how to protect my shade-lovers from a sunny Southern exposure, come to grips with the never-ending battle to re-nourish the depleted soil in all of my garden beds and acknowledge the dawning truth that I am feeding the neighbourhood wildlife hundreds of dollars worth of specialty greens every year!
Who’s the April Fool? (sigh) me.