May 29 – Bigger Picture

As previously promised, I will get some pictures up as soon as Big Garden is ready for her close up. (Besides, I have been tthrough two digitals in the past year and now, only know how to post my phone to FaceBook)…
In the mean time, I may have to paint the picture for you:
Short story long, I am a passionate reader of other gardener’s efforts. Some of my best fireside evenings – Jan/Feb, alone in the living room, candles, fire, glass of merlot – have been reading their memoires. I don’t like all gardener’s musing – some are too serious, some are too dry, but most don’t paint that picture.
I want to read about their passion – whether it is a city lot with a quiet shade garden and the gentle sound of spilling water; the organized chaos of a plant collector who knows better but can’t help himself; the trial and error of a new garderner – as eager as a new foal, or the sazzy banter of a lady who knows just what she likes and plants it!
While my Big Garden may never seem as dramatic as these, on the surface, I can assure there have been moments. Maybe the writers I snoozed through forget when those things happened.
But, and alas, for all that a garden is, it is not just the big moments; it is also the small and fragile and precious. One needs only to open their eyes. While I confess I have never seem the fairies I remember from childhood storybooks, I am certain they are there:  bees setting the whole pollination thing in motion, lady bugs defeating the masses, butterflies and dragonflies – just because!
Of course, there are also treacheries, but today is not about that. Today is about how it feels to really be in the garden, as it is:
Across the perrenial border, the chives are going to seed (to be dead-headed.)
Okay, I have to stop right here – have I mentioned "dead-heading"? While I hazzard to guess at the origin for both this practice and the band of a similar name, I am certain they are not the same. Not to mean that listening to "Ripple" on you iPod would not be a bad thing; still, I prefer Cowboy Junkies for this work…
So, I will deadhead the chives: cut off spent blooms in hopes of more later.
There are a few flowers which I have previously DH’d – iris and peonies, the occasional grape hyacinth.
Now, here is the funny thing. I never planted any of these gems back here. I must have put in 200, I don’t know, maybe 500, in the front beds when we redid them BK (before kids). So, how are they back here, you wonder – moles, voles, squirrels. They dig them up and then decide to bury them for later…
Anyway, back to the perrenials – chives, iris, peonies: gone. Entering stage right is a dusky pink campanula picked up as a cheap $3 pot some years ago. The picture looked better than the actual blooms. Not that they are ugly – in fact, they are charming: just not sometihng you can see hald an acre away…even though I now have 20X as many… (Again, get to know your plants – see a pretty picture in a book – study the good, the bad and the ugly before adopting…)
In the wings: coreopsis, ‘Moonstuck’ (forgive my attempt at nomenclature – I have been getting steadiliy better at the species, but am stunted on the variety; I think…maybe it’s families…) Goal to self: study next winter. Still and all, I do know a tomato is a nightshade and the cukes and melons, squash and pumpkins are related. Believe it or not – this kind of relationship stuff IS very important when starting out. More later – promise…
So, my front edges will go from purple iris, to pink chive, to duskly pink campanula and then to bright, but butterfly-like yellow. It will change again, and, actually, it is this transition that so haunts me.
So much to learn, thank goodness – winters are long….

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