Last summer I tried, more than usual. To make my flower beds flourish.

As is well documented in this blog, I am a vegetable gardener. I like getting my hands dirty, watching my food take shape. Flowers require knowledge of what goes where. They’re finicky and bring out the perfectionist in me. And so I choose vegetables. 

But last summer we hosted a family reunion. My clan was slated to spend many hours over a three day period in August, cross-generationally catching up in my back yard. Full flower beds were a necessity. 

Insecure about my flower growing abilities, I started early. I planted and prodded, and kept careful track of the balance of annuals and perennials. Of proximity and color families, of timing and then...

About two weeks before the festivities, the dog days of summer set in. A heat wave cast its magic spell, flowers drooped, many bit the dust. My beds lacked their intended pops of color and were decidedly unimpressive. 

I began frantically taking-out and shoving-in new plants, finally following advice that had been given early-on by an accomplished family gardener, “Plant three times what you think you need!”

And it worked. My flower beds, if only fleeting, were a vibrant backdrop to “days of yore” conversation, lawn golf, and many many meals. 

Fast forward to this year, early May. 

As I wait for the kids to get off the bus, I stare at patches of green, starts of stuff, not a color in sight. I have no ideas what’s what. And, thankfully this year it doesn’t really matter.

It’s like after you wake up from a long sleep and yesterday’s coifed hair-do is a haphazard beautiful mess, that works. Until it doesn’t. (Which for me is usually about an hour after I decide a shower isn’t necessary).

Weeks from now, with the sun beating down, this season’s plants will be purchased, watering regimens analyzed, and weeds will inevitably emerge.

But for now, my flower beds just are. Growing slowly. And I get to watch and learn. What took hold, what didn’t survive the winter. And it’s beautiful, in a green nothing and everything kind of way. 

It’s ( finally) spring!

Poscript Pic:

What a difference three weeks make!

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