Garden Season Commences


I did not have the strength this spring like in the past, when I was fighting for everything to stay alive. Rehoming, pesticide treating, watering, pruning, experimenting, always planting something, I forced away English ivy so I could gather my hostas together like soldiers grouping for impact. I kept tabs on all of it and made sure I did everything I possibly could to gain footing…

As winter was coming to a close I would pace the foyer, staring at where the tulip bulbs had been buried. I was told that rabbits would eat them. They started growing and I was assured deer would find them. But then they bloomed, beautifully. And they were just fine.



I didn’t realize that everything else was coming up all on its own, earlier than last year, without worry. The bleeding heart shrub has quadrupled in size. I didn’t even watch it grow. Gladiolas that are supposed to be dug up and over-wintered, seem to be just fine. Strange hostas in new areas are all poking through the topsoil, the true test of whether or not they would stay and fight. The hydrangea no longer looks like a dead stick. Lily of the Valley is taking its own course around a tree. Solomon’s Seal has new stalks. Propagated, divided and spread out…It’s all…here. Even things I thought had perished.

It’s so strange, telling myself that I can just… pace myself. Spray some repellent here. Rake a little there. It all started falling in to place without having to push and shove for every inch.

And that massive pine tree I bitched about for over two years as its needles and cones pulverized everything below it? It just…died. And let in the all the sun I needed. Dan had to pay to have it cut down before it killed someone. Now there’s just a stump.


Not that any of it could keep me from the nurseries. I escaped to several in an effort to get away from the overwhelming community event I had to host at the house…and of course, it was impossible to leave without something nearly every time. A silvery shrub, summer snowflake, Rose, and the list easily went from one or two to about a dozen new plants.


I germinated morning glory from seed and have the seedlings hardening outside. Twenty or thirty of them…which will produce enough vine to grow over absolutely everything (evil plans await). That was my greenhouse project for the year. I also have oriental lily in the fridge, creating 3 months of cold weather for bulb formation, but I do not keep my hopes high for a seed that is difficult to grow. I bet Dan wonders why the bottom crisper drawer is full of dirt.


The cleanup event was a huge success. I went around promoting it at the neighborhood progressive party (although most of the attendees claimed to be too busy to put in any real work) and stole everyone’s e-mail addresses from our secretary’s ‘send-to’ field in order to remind everyone about the event. I campaigned it really well and by noon, about twenty people were pulling weeds at the entrance signs. A beautiful thing. Way better than the dwindling attendance of 6, and I didn’t spend any money on fliers. Plus I shaved 50 bucks off the expense tab. This stingy old place needs a lot of help, and I helped it. It feels good, being proud of that.


I’m pleased. I can work with this. Let’s start snapping photos. Let’s tell a story.


A Power Player To Dress The Part

She had been discovered in the windy city sometime in the early 60’s. They called her Chicago Peace. She was summoned, one week ago.

Although it looked like there were many more to choose from, for some reason she had been brought in from the outside to fight a very private, highly classified battle.

“Why didn’t you pick any one of the others who were already local?” she wondered.

It was unclear to her, how the territories worked. She had just landed the role and figured those abstract shapes and muddled colors would all make sense once her vision of the kingdom had sharpened. Some things just took time and the right exposure, which she already knew well from personal experience.

“I’m counting on you, Rose,” said the queen.