Friday, December 26, 2008

Better Late than Never?

Today I went out to plant the pansies I got for Christmas. They're beautiful purple ones. I love pansies, what a great way to add some color for the winter!

M. was concerned, though. I planted them in the flagpole bed, and she noticed for the first time that the zinnia was gone (I finally harvested the last of the seeds and pulled it up a few weeks ago). I assured her that by the time these flowers die back in the spring, it will be time to plant our saved seeds.

So I cleaned out the rest of the bed and planted a dozen pansies (I have a dozen more to go in other beds). Cleaning would have been a breeze, if not for the masses of fire ants that have taken up residence (with no hills to give them away!). I decided against spreading ant killer and now and planting later. I was in the mood to garden NOW, and that hasn't happened much lately. So I worked around the ants, and managed to come away with only one sting!

On the way out of the garage to the flower bed I noticed a plain brown paper bag sitting on a shelf. "Oh, no", I thought. I had forgotten all about my bulbs. I bought them in October, dutifully putting them in the fridge for two weeks before planting. But then Mom got sick, and everything happened so fast, and I haven't thought about my gardens in two months. Somewhere along the line they got removed from the fridge - probably to make room for funeral food - and stuffed away on a shelf, forgotten.

I can't even remember what they are, now. I have a box of 6 purple iris rhizomes, labeled, so those were easy. There was a bag with 10 light brown bulbs - I think they're yellow daffodils. Another bag had 4 purple bulbs that smelled slightly of onion for some reason. If I recall those are amaryllis maybe. I remember my friend Dawn was with me when I bought them and she talked me into those even though they were much more expensive. "The smell will make it so worth it!" Two are pink, I think, and two are purple, maybe.

I've been planning since last spring to start some bulbs. My grandmother had such lovely spring gardens full of daffodils and lilies and irises. I'm sure I actually had a plan at some point, probably even when I bought them. Now, I confess I didn't really feel like planting them. I sure couldn't remember any kind of plan. I can't even remember what's what. But I felt obligated to get them in, somewhere.

I put 3 irises around the flagpole, with 4 of the daffodil-ish ones a bit further out. If they grow, those should look really nice when the pansies are gone and the zinnias are not there yet.

The rest, I took into the back garden. I decided to plant all of the "smelly" ones back there where the scent is most likely to be enjoyed. By the time I got to that part of the planting I had really had enough. It was hot outside - we've had record highs all week here, in the upper 70s - plus it was incredibly muggy. I was tired of dodging ants. I didn't want to look at the mess the garden has become after two more months of neglect - still better than last year, but not where it was supposed to be. There were also several large holes made when the kids accidentally locked the dog in the area. Ugh.

Looking around I had no memory of any kind of plan...I just wanted to get back in the house and get a drink of water. So I started digging little holes, all around the water feature, which I have always envisioned with lots of greenery surrounding it. All around and among the other plants are now 4 amaryllis, 3 iris and 6 daffodils. I have no clue what it will look like, how it will all fit together, but as I dug it suddenly seemed fitting to have it all thrown together willy-nilly. Hopefully, if I didn't wait TOO long to plant, they will grow...and by the time Easter comes, there will be new life out there. Easter is the season of new life, and the reminder of everlasting life, and I think it will be especially meaningful to see those willy-nilly plants come of age.