Every year of my life seems to get crazier and busier, and I long for the quieter years of yesterday. I have most certainly recovered from the shock of returning to a full-time job after nearly 25 years of being a stay-at-home mom, but I am still trying to find balance. Jamie continues to decline in health, and I now find myself doing the job of husband and wife - the house, the yard, the children, the everything. I found myself saying to him last night that I wish we could add 6 hours to every day - without changing the number of hours spent at work!!
I have been very torn about my garden. Very torn. I realize that not only do I not have the extra time needed to keep it up the way I want to keep it up, but I feel so guilty when I am out there, because I know there are probably better ways of spending my time - in terms of priorities. However, I keep getting pulled back out there because I can't resist the beauty and calm that it brings to my mind. I love walking around, inspecting all the fresh blooms, feeling the sun, smelling the freshness, listening to the birds or the wind. And the bees. Especially the bees. They're so mesmerizing.
I have also learned to love watching my former enemies - The Rabbits - as they chase each other in and out of the plants and devour my rudbeckia.
I had resolved in January that there would be no new garden this year! No vegetables left unpicked, no seedlings to nurture, etc., but I got swept off my feet by a lovely little blog that I discovered called Floret. The next thing I knew, I was ordering tubers and flower seeds of every kind. Cosmos, zinnias, sweet peas... I managed to get all the dahlias started indoors by early May, as well as some of the seeds. However, I lost my sweet pea seedlings when I tried to transition them outdoors but later became so ill that they were left outside to freeze one night.
This season has been challenging in the sense that many of the trees and shrubs were coaxed to bloom early and then freezing temperatures returned and killed the buds. There was no forsythia or azaleas this year, and I don't think I'm going to get any pears, plums or nectarines. At least I didn't see the trees flower, and I don't see any fruit on the trees. It has also been very dry.
All of my other transplants made it outside successfully. Alas.... new problems. The well needs to be replaced. There is an air leak and there is no suction. So, even though I managed to get all my babies into the ground, they are left out there in the dry soil. Twice, I tried to get out there before work to water them using a watering can. It's not enough. Also, our outdoor house faucet broke (resulting in a night visit from our plumber), so there is no way to run a hose out there. After two weeks, I have had to pull out many dried up seedlings.
At this point, I have decided to use this summer to plan for next summer. I'm not giving up. I love it too much out there. James and I hauled out the patio furniture, and I manage to put out some pots with rosemary and blueberries. My perennial garden looks fantastic, and so do all the herbs that I started from seed last year: chives, thyme, oregano, and sage. There is tons and tons of chamomile, arugula and parsley, due to their gracious self-seeding. I also have many perennials patiently awaiting new homes that I started last winter: purple coneflower (about 20!), hosta, baby's breath, yarrow, and monarda.
I think the flower that I have been most enchanted by this season is the columbine I planted last winter. The 7 or 8 plants I grew did not flower last spring, but this year they returned spectacularly. I love the color and delicacy of form.
I am still in love with my dahlias, but I have 2 new loves: peonies and roses. I am going to try to plan a smaller garden that includes more varieties than I have. Is that possible? Smaller but more?
In my next post, I will try to write about how I plan on managing this....