I’d rather be gardening

Bed of plants

My "shade bed."

Today’s a lovely day — high 60s, low 70s, sunny with no thunderstorm on the horizon yet. It’s rained almost every day for the past month, which means the plants are green, the weeds are blooming, and the ground is soft. In other words, today would be a perfect day to be outside.

When we first moved in, I thought our house faced due north. I’m used to houses that face cardinal directions, and it didn’t occur to me that with the house on the curve of the street, we probably didn’t. In fact, our house faces northeast. However, thinking that the front of the house was north and would thus be shady all day, especially with the large maple tree in the yard), I planned and planted a shade bed.

I started with a couple of bleeding hearts, a fern, and a variegated heuchera (coral bells). And the spring bulbs, of course. Over the years, I’ve added a couple more ferns, some hostas, lilies of the valley, and some more bleeding hearts. Then there are the plants that grow there naturally — the wild strawberries, the ivy, the dandelions (need to get those out), the dogwood volunteers (those, too), the grass (and that), the maple seedlings (and those!). I used small plants on the theory that given time, plants will grow to fill space.

It’s worked, as you can see.

The bleeding hearts will die back for the summer, and I do need to think of some plant to put there that will sprout later to fill that spot as the bleeding hearts fade, but overall, I like the bed, which doesn’t seem to mind at all that it gets plenty of morning sunshine and even some late afternoon sun from May through July. Now, if I just had the time to get out those things that don’t belong . . .

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  1. I think you ought to leave the dandelions this year, and make wine from them…

    • Believe me, we have plenty of dandelions in the yard! It would be a fitting tribute, though. Interesting note — dandelion wine uses the yellow flowers; dandelion beer uses the leaves and/or roots.

  2. My idea of gardening is dumping rocks over any dirt that isn’t good for grass. In fact, I’m hopeless with green things that aren’t short and make fabulous farting noises when pinched between thumb and heel of the hand and blown on, or big with rough brown stuff on the sides.

    I hope you’re able to get out and garden today like you want!

    • I never have been able to make noises with grass. I got my mom’s love of plants, though, and I just keep planting and experimenting. I don’t do a lot of temperamental plants — no trying to coax a gardenia through the winter for me. Mostly perennials and bulbs, things I can put in the ground once and trust to take care of themselves.

      No gardening today, though. Not this week, in fact; work’s got me in a crunch, and I may have to do an all-nighter tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for the warm thoughts, though.

    • I spoke too soon; I reckoned without the power of an insistent four-year-old. “Who’s going to come outside with me so I can play?” It’s not as if I get work done once everyone’s home — at least until everyone is in bed.

  3. That’s a nice variety of plants.

    I had to move my hostas into a raised planter because rabbits kept eating them.

  4. Kathleen Hammond

    If the VSP wants to go out and play, you go work in the garden. I’m sure the VSP would be happy to help you.

    • Indeed she is. Except she couldn’t understand why I pulled the white flowers. This whole “They’re weeds, and I don’t want them in my garden” doesn’t mean much to her yet.

      On the flip side, we had a very nice Abbott and Costello moment when she had me spell “Mommy” so she could write it with sidewalk chalk.

      “What’s your fifth letter?”
      “No, what’s your fifth letter?”
      “I need to know your fifth letter.”
      . . .

  5. Kathleen Hammond

    Peels of hysterical laughter here.

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