Friday, March 30, 2007

Walkin' On Sunshine

That's the song on the radio as I drove home for lunch. It just fit my mood perfectly with a mild day and flowers growing everywhere in the yard.
Hyacinths, creeping phlox, violas, daffodil remnants and the odd persistent dandelion.
We've had hyacinths from our first year here, but it wasn't until last year that I bought a Costco-sized bag of hyacinths bulbs in all the colors of the rainbow. They have settled in and are rewarding us with a joyous burst of color.
I fell in love with creeping phlox soon after moving to northern Nevada and just thought the pink variety was perfect. This was before I found out how prickly the leaves can be as they age, but now I remind myself not to get prickly myself as birthday after birthday rolls around. I have fewer than before, and I'm quite strict with their size and cut them back severely, but every Spring I am reminded of how much I really do like them. I've since found wild species growing and blooming in restrained pastels along my wildland hikes. Unfussy, drought-resistant and colorful in March.
Violas, johnny-jump-ups, and pansies have always delighted me. Pansies are particular about too much water, so I focus on the violas which are both perennial and provide me with interesting volunteers from their unrestrained and unsupervised hybridizing. Their cousins, the johnny-jump-ups, have such great patterns and unique color combinations that I can't resist buying them. They look great with all the Spring bulbs and provide color till the snow flies.
The very healthy dandelion is so close to the weeping birch trunk and usually surrounded by crocus leaves, so it escapes most of my herbicide attacks. I've tried painting RoundUp on its leaves, but it just laughs and keeps on growing. It keeps me busy picking off its flowers before they can go to seed and spread. Such is a gardener's life though. A little work, a little persistence, a little patience and a lot of enjoyment.

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