This little grouping came after some needed pruning and clipping this morning. Pajama gardening is my favorite.
I've enjoyed playing in the garden since we moved into this house years ago. The sellers had filled the patch between the patio and the lawn with petunias. That's it. (They took the paint and petunias idiom literally.) It took no time for me to put a few roses in the ground. Over time we added strawberries, some sweet potatoes, cukes, pumpkins, Icelandic poppies - a long list of trials and errors. I read, I attempted, I learned. I did it when I had little, little kiddos, a husband, a job, family and friendships. The garden took a back seat (the way back, third row to be honest) and got the love it deserved when I had the breathing space.
Then, my landscaping pal Gary and I took a real look at the space we have and made a hardscape plan. Jennifer, a beautiful landscape designer gave me a completely new recommendation for plantings based on my zone and where the sunlight fell. Brilliant! I had Hebes and Lavender "Otto Quast," an Iceberg Rose tree with a burgundy iceberg graft, Penstemon, more White Iceberg bushes, Cecile Bruner Rose, Verbascum, Veronica, lots of beauty.
|Charlie McCormick's Dahlias. I swoon.|
I learned two things.
Water helps- we had lots of rain this winter. It made the tree and all the flowers so very happy. We live in a drought area so I'm filling barrels with any water too cold for hands or showers. Also, daily snips and cleanup make a big difference. Last summer, I planted about fifteen Dahlia plants inspired by Charlie McCormick's gorgeous dahlia gardens. As they grew in, they struggled, they didn't have enough space at the base to breathe. I learned. Only about ten made it over the cold winter we had. No frost, but cold enough. My grandmother of English heritage, and midwestern experience, always took her tubers up. But, California is not Chicago. I may have learned to rest them. Maybe.
A gardener I know, a real gardener, told me, "gardening is a series of killing things." I can do that. One year I didn't water anything over winter - except that which was hit by the sprinkler system. Lesson learned.
So, the garden. Daily visits. Daily joy. Daily tending.