I have got flower gardens here at the house. A couple big ones in the back yard and one in the front. They are overgrown and sad looking. The problem is that they were just too much to keep up with while working a full time job which stretched into some pretty long hours, plus having the inside house things to do, plus working on renovations. I'd get a good start on things, but invariably there was something that came up and in very short order, the work I did was swallowed up by weeds again.
Since the finished renovation, I've made up my mind to start working at them again. A bit at a time. Slow and steady.
This also involves buying plants.
We have a series of houses and what I have always done is go to Lowes and look at their poor half dead plants. I buy them for a fraction of the price, and bring them home. I plant them with the thought that they will either grow or they won't. A surprising number of them do grow.
Sunday, I brought home four sad plants. Today, I got them planted, two yellow columbine and salvia. along with splitting some hostas and ferns that had become monstrous. A hydrangea bush has grown up in an awkward place, and needed dug out and replanted. I've got some lilacs to go at the back of the lot by the fence that seperates our lot from the neighbor behind us. Weeding. There's always weeding.
I work by myself and it is a pleasant way to spend an evening. A small gray feral cat comes to sit and watch. He's new. He won't come near. He's every bit as wary as Mr. M was in the beginning. I have not seen my old friend for over a week now, but I have the good catfood waiting, just in case.
I get up and brush my pants off, speaking to the new cat. "Are you hungry?" I ask, as I head to the house. "Come on, then." He follows me, padding to the edge of the driveway, silently watching me as I go inside to return with a cup of cat food to fill his dish. He waits until I go inside to approach my offering.
The kids across the street? The neighborhood refers to them as 'the ferals'. Something has happened there. They don't seem to be around during the day. Perhaps one of the adults realized that an 11 year old boy cannot handle two preschoolers without help. I can only hope that they are in the care of someone who loves them. Maybe a grandma.
William is at his own house for a couple of days this week. It is just Tim and I, and that feels comfortable too, not that either of us mind having William around. He's an easy child most of the time, and he's really begun to show quite a streak of independence. Tim bought him a bike for here and he is in his glory. He rode over to the library to redeem his 14 tickets for reading. A squid hat, sunglasses, a water bottle.
I like it when life's like this, quiet, flowing on an even keel.
Tomorrow, after our walk, after my shower, I will go to Lowes to buy another half dozen plants. It usually winds up costing me no more than $20. I like looking through the poor sad plants, reading the tag to find out which ones love the shade. We've got two massive maple trees in the back yard filtering the sunlight, creating flickering pale green light to punctuate the shade,. That's nice. It prevents it from being a gloomy space.
I'll study those plants carefully, taking my time to read about them. I know what I am looking for: the ones that show new growth beneath the dead stuff. resiliant plants, the ones that do best away from the bright light.
Some things just need to be in the right place and left to return to life.
I love your description of the plants. People are like that, too. Stick me in the right place and leave me alone! I hope Mr M comes to visit soon. Maybe he told Senor Gray about your place.ReplyDelete
I am starting to get the feeling that someone might be killing these cats. There was quite an argument next door. Someone mowed grass and it turned out they mowed on property that wasn't theirs. It turned into a big fight that included "your cats are running all over the neighborhood and peeing on my porch". The police had to be involved. There are so many feral cats in the area that I'm not sure how the man is so certain that these particular cats belong to anyone at all. But I know that someone across the street was tending to a feral cat. He came up missing. Now Mr. M. A tenant said that a cat had shown up at her place badly injured although she did not know what caused the injury. I hate to accuse, but I'm starting to become suspicious.Delete
Debby, that's horrible.Delete
A lot of plants are like that: they just need time and a little love and attention - children too.ReplyDelete
Don't forget cats!Delete
You are settling into comfortable retired life Debby. Cats underfoot, plants to nurture - some plants by the way need the thinnest of soils and just seem to live on fresh air.ReplyDelete
It will be interesting to see how it goes.Delete
THIS is retirement xReplyDelete
We're finally doing it right, I think.Delete
Go for herbaceous perennials Debby. You can divide them and make cuttings and best of all they come back every year. Wish I could give you some of mine. I have literally hundreds in pots and can be planted any time.ReplyDelete
I would take them all, too!Delete
All very interesting. I bought a cheap and badly shaped magnolia once and with a couple of snips here and there over a few years, it turned into a fine small tree before we sold up. Shade is often combined with hungry trees and it can be hard to grow things near them in the shade.ReplyDelete
The weeds seem to do just fine.Delete
I think word has gotten out about you, amongst the feral cats:) You obviously love animals and I'm so glad that they find you. We don't have any feral cats around here, the coyotes tend to eat them.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you're getting to garden again. I know what you mean about sad, half-dead plants. I was at Wal-mart yesterday and so the line up outside the building. It makes me sad to see them so neglected.
A friend who works at Lowes said that once a plant hits the reduced cart, they no longer water them. I think that's silly. If you have trouble selling a half dead plant, it's going to be even harder to sell an entirely dead one.Delete
I just noticed I forgot to change the "anonymous" on my post yesterday. Sorry!ReplyDelete
What a thoughtful post, Debby. Everyone, everything just wants a chance to thrive. You're right!
You sounded like a very nice anonymous. Yes. Everything just wants a chance to thrive, and it is within our power to offer that chance.Delete
I love that you offer a new start to the sad plants. I do that too. I'm a sucker for a half-dead plant in a garden center. (Or discarded on the street, for that matter.)ReplyDelete
LOL. I noticed, Steve. I noticed!Delete
I guess I'm the say way, mostly with fruit trees, though this year I'm striking out. I planted four and I think all four are nearly dead. Two years ago we had a really wet spring and adequate rains in the first half of summer and lost two trees. When I pulled them out finally, all their fine roots had rotted off. Since this year has been nearly identical, I suspect the same thing is happening.ReplyDelete
I've never tried to duplicate this bit of thriftiness when buying trees. This year, I'm propagating apple trees in the greenhouse from shoots. On line it looks so easy. I've also got some cherry pits planted.ReplyDelete
I look at weeds as mostly potential compost! Steady as she goes is the best for gardeningReplyDelete