The Gardening Virus

Tim got an email this morning that the Community Garden opening has been postponed because the ground is so wet. I'm disappointed that we will have to wait, but I know that we have been fortunate to not have any additional negative repercussions from the rain than this.

I know that the inclement weather has caused damage through storms and flooding to many around the US, and they are in my thoughts.  I also know that the rain has caused delays for many farmers to plant, particularly corn, and may cause the price of food to go up.  We will go through this together, in some form or another, no matter where we live.  But those affected have been on my mind quite a bit lately, and I thought it important to say.

On the non-rainy days, I have really, really been enjoying working on our landscaping around the house.  For Easter, rather than a basket of candy, my mother gifted us a few vibrantly green "guacamole" hostas to plant in our shady front yard.  I also planted a duo of purple tulips which thrived from the spring rains.  From there, it was as if I'd caught the gardening virusI can't shake the desire to plant

When we went shopping for mulch, Melissa and I couldn't stay away from the vegetable plants.  While Tim stacked bags of mulch onto a flat cart, Melissa selected a skinny tomato plant whose tag boasted "lovely, juicy slicing tomatoes."  Now in addition to our herbs, our back patio is the home of our "back-up tomato," a tomato-insurance, if you will, in case our plot at the community garden fairs poorly again. 

Then on Mother's Day, I arrived at my parent's house with fresh cut flowers for my mom.  I spent a sunny afternoon with her outside; Mom carried a shovel and I carried an assortment of grocery bags, following her around like a lady in waiting, while she dug up a flower here or an herb there for me to re-plant in my own garden.  I left her house with four bags of plants, three little corms (to indulge my mother's--and now my own--dream of growing a flowering tropical plant), and an assortment of clay pots that were leftover after she had finished her spring planting.  As I drove back home, I thought about how today was supposed to be about me giving to her--but my mom always finds a way to give me more than I could ever offer.

I spent the next few evenings after work planting what she gave me--a couple of plants that have an electric blue flower resembling a dandelion, another flowering plant that she warned me will spread like a weed if given the chance, a fragrant low-to-the-ground plant that is soft when I run my hands over the top of it's leaves, and a few more.  I planned out where they might get the most sun and what might compliment its neighboring plants if in the same area.  I also tried to create what I'd like to call a "corm nursery" for the little bulb-like balls, planting them in thick, clay pots with good drainage and excellent potting soil, making sure they get lots of warm afternoon sun, but not too much, to try to mimic the tropical environment.  It's still a bit of a mystery to me what exactly I will get from the corms--what plant it is and how many years it may take to flower--but this gardening virus has me unable to say no to anything.

I have been so busy working in our yard that I haven't even thought about planning out our community garden plot.  My sister is growing a variety of peppers so we may skip those altogether in the spirit of hopefully exchanging excess produce with her after we begin to harvest.  I've considered some eggplant and maybe another go at melon, but I need to start doing some research.  Any suggestions on a good website or magazine to check out?

I will keep you, my readers, in the loop as to how things progress with the garden, but I'd like to hear about your gardening, too.  Please feel free to post a link to your blog or send me an email if you'd like to discuss garden tips and strategies. I really enjoy hearing from you and cheering you on, too.

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