Monday, May 18, 2009


(PLEASE NOTE: I have tried and tried to separate out the paragraphs with spaces, but the stupid blog won't let me! I've done it on other blog entries, I think it's the pictures that are throwing it off!! My apologies to your eyes!!)
So I'm feeling a little better about my gardens, every year.
I have always loved flowers, from the time I was in elementary school and we used to be able to pick out flowers for our moms at the annual Mother's Day Flower Mart or whatever they used to call them! lol (remember those, brothers and sisters? Whoever picked us up ended up with 3-4 kids and a buttload of flowers to juggle!!) I always made sure to ask mom the night before or the morning of what her favorite flowers were or I'd ask Dad in the car---he usually knew at least one or two suggestions. I remember picking out marigolds and snapdragons and pansies in particular.
At her house on Glenmont Avenue, where she lived for 40 years, my grandmother had a small but varied garden that we (my mother, grandmother and I) walked almost weekly, noting the new growth, the new plants planted, the cut-backs and the selections my mother would sometimes make to take some home with her. She also had a veggie/fruit garden, where we helped pick green beans, cucumbers, zuccini and strawberries. To this day, even after my grandmother moved and has been in another house for...20 years, there are still plants that are spoken of as "a Glenmont Avenue flower/plant" because that's where they had originated. I personally don't have any of those...yet! ;) but since then, I have spent many an hour walking my mother's garden, asking about names, color variations, sun exposure and growth.
The house live in now we bought brand new, so I had to dig out places to plant.
Beside the mailbox was a big mistake. This flower locale baffles our mail carrier, Tina as well.
She asked me the other day:
Why does everyone plant flowers by the mailbox?! Why?!
I didn't have an answer. Frankly, I was stumped.
"Because it looks bare otherwise?" I suggested.
She feels it is a personal affront to plant flowers by the mailbox, as they can attract bees....which can then sting carriers. I pointed out that this year, because the soil was so crappy at that spot for a multitude reasons (the least of which being the township uses gravel---yes, gravel, people!!---when it snows instead of salt. That then gets kicked up onto our little strip of grass and that's all she wrote! I can't keep up with the amount of gravel that needs to be plucked out before I can plant each year.....but I digress!) because the soil was so crappy, I had opted for a big round pot, which can easily be moved if we find this type of flower (a lantana, if I'm not mistaken? and I may be, my pregnancy brain is like a sieve lately...) proved to be a bee attracter. Additionally, we are high up on a hill and the sun is brutal around here almost all day! Makes it very hard to play outside or to get much of anything to grow. I refuse to revert to planting only cacti. So every year, I am quite willing to try new flowers!
Here is my supposedly drought hardy, full-sun loving new mailbox plant:

It grows a bit willy-nilly and flopping, but I'm gonna wait and see how it goes! haha
The other plant I found is this cute little flowering one whose name completely escapes me except that I remember it rhymes with "dracula"! lol but it is also supposed to be sun-loving AND is supposed to be planted an astonishing 24 inches apart!! That is a lot, but I followed the directions and right now, I've got a slightly bare looking walkway garden, so I hope these really fill out like their planting directions suggest!! What I liked about them was that orange and pale pink and fuschia were all growing on the same plant!....course, I didn't take pictures of any of the ones with two colors on one plant, but I swear they exist!!

Finally, the [insert French word I can't spell and am too lazy to look up HERE], my Clematis. I wanted a pretty one that would twine about my mailbox, like some of my neighbors, but that was a no-go, for reasons outlined above. This is the third year I've had this one and it has 2 flowers on it and is twining quite nicely up our arbor! YAY!!! :) The second flower is growing through on the other side, where it poked through the arbor.

Also in this bed, on the left, is Lavender, which smells so nice when you're working in this bed! It gets to be monstrous huge with purple flowers on the ends eventually. I had initially planted 2 lavender plants, but the one I had in the middle kept getting flooded out due to our being on a hill and the way our drainage is (crappily) set up. I need to change that! At any rate, the other survived and has gotten bigger every year! It's so nice to have those no-work perennials that just make there way out of the ground all on their own, every year! :)

So that is my little bit of joy, my little bit of spring to share with everyone!
Even if you're not a gardener, having flowers is shown to improve mood!! If you have flowers in the house, or any plant, it can improve the oxygen levels (and smell! haha) as well as enhance your mood! How 'bout that?! :) I guess that's why we send flowers to people in the hospital, eh? :)

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