gardening: I have the perfect garden right now!



Gardening right now is the best! Yes, the Nut House garden is under some of the same snow that fell in December. Also the ground is frozen 7’ down. I do like being in winter gardens if there is something interesting to look at and the birds and other animals are moving around, but that’s not what I’m talking about. It is the perfect garden to come, that is what is always so wonderful about gardening this time a year.

gardening: I have the best garden right now! you need to start dreaming now.
lilac blooms

Oh yeah, I come from a long line of garden dreamers. One of the first things my family does when you come to visit, in a new place or old place, is to take you outside and describe what is going to be planted and where. I remember my grandparents doing this almost every visit. Now, when I visit other family members, the same ritual proceeds.

I started designing my first garden at 10. We had moved into a new house in the mountains and my mom was, of course, expanding the garden into what was just natural landscape. She was using some flower seed packages and making late spring and summer borders around the lawn. She loves Shasta and Gloriosa Daisies together.


Anyway, mom gave me a package of cosmos. I read the back. I don’t think I would have understood everything about the instructions but I did know they needed sun. There wasn’t much because of the pine, fir and oak trees but I found a spot that always had sun. I carefully planted my seeds and what was to become a lifelong obsession. I loved to water my little circle of rocks that had pink and white flowers, all summer long.

As an adult I have always had a garden of some sorts. Our newlywed home was a second story apartment in very undesirable area of the city, just a giant ugly midcentury concrete rectangle box. Even the stairs were concrete. I brought home some boards from our family’s sawmill and talked the hubby into building planting boxes that would line the balcony walkway railing. Some rust orange Marigolds, Zinnias and Scarlett runner beans softened the rusty metal railing outside the window and welcomed any guest outside to the newlywed’s abode.


Why did a newly wedded guy, who went to school and worked full time, put up with these kinds of shenanigans? I have my hubby’s grandmother to thank for training my hubby into conceding to my gardening obsession. Grandma ‘rainne was an avid gardener and garden columnist in the local paper and taught college extension courses. Everyone in the family knew that to keep her happy: you helped her maintain her garden and indoor plants! To the point that if you got wounded playing outside, you were to drip the blood on certain plants and she then would call someone else to come bandage you up. Don’t worry someday we will spend more time talking about the famous Lorraine Small.

bombshell hydrangea

So back to our dream gardens. This is the time of year the garden catalogs and magazines come in the mail.  They are filled with glossy photos of the perfect plants that are easy to grow and are completely full proof. You happily circle every plant you want to add whether it is a vegetable, flower or shrub. Imagining them growing to the perfect size in a week, looking lovely and weed free. In your mind, the whole garden is transformed into a place, where you spend hours enjoying perfect sunlight or shade, nibbling on a sweet piece of fruit. It’s so wonderful that you can smell the Honeysuckle vine, the Sweet Alyssum, Lavender, old fashion Roses………… the twilight comes and the white flowers glow. The crickets start their serenade picking up after the meadow lark’s voice fades. Yes, this time of year can be the best time to garden. Ahhh!

Stay nutty, plant something this week.



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