Sunday, May 1, 2011

I Want To Be Her...

Kate Middleton.  Not because she found and married her Prince Charming...(I have my own, thank you!)  Not because she has the most fabulous clothes and a figure to go with it...(Can't wait to see her when she gets to be my age!)  And not because her closet must be brimming with the chic-est shoes and pocketbooks...(ok, I lied.  That's one of the reasons!)  It's because she can now walk out into her beautiful English garden with a cup of tea, gaze at all her beautiful flowers and shrubs and never have gotten her hands dirty!  (Sigh....)

Reuters Photo

You can guess where this is going!  I spent the weekend getting my landscaping ready for summer.  First I surveyed the land.  I want to know two things....why does everything but grass grow on my lawn??  I have moss, clover, and enough dandelions to make my dead grandmother come back to life with a fork and a knife.  And two...why does grass grow in my flower beds?  If I could only get it to move over a few feet, I would have a lawn like a golf course!  Oh well, seed and feed and hope for the best!

Dandelion - Photography by R. Palazola

Now for the flowers.  Again, too bad dandelions are weeds.  I could have the prettiest yellow garden...  And rocks???  My rock garden consists

Living in the northeast,  I have learned that you don't plant anything before Memorial Day.  I found out the hard way.  Planted a bunch of impatiens before the official beginning of summer.  One cold night wiped out all my work.  Now I plant the plants that are growing naturally at this time of year - lots of phlox, daylillies, and some newcomers - carpet bugleweed and lamium.

Phlox - Photography by R. Palazola

Pink Pewter Lamium - Photography by R. Palazola

Daylilly Leaves - Photography by R. Palazola

Memorial Day weekend is when I get into my "heavy duty, serious gardening before the bees come out" mode.  After that, I leave the flowers to flower and concentrate on my vegetables. Tomatoes, basil, oregano - a sauce and pizza garden!  My Prince Charming is building me some raised beds for my vegetables, so I hope to start branching out with my veggies.

When my grandfather came over  from Italy, he brought some string bean seeds with him.  Not just any string bean seeds - these were special Barese skinny, dark string beans.  (Wonderful with boiled potatoes, garlic and oil.)  Instead of Jack, our family had Giuseppe and the Beanstalk!  He grew them for years and when he came to live with us in the 70's, the beans came with him.  My father kept them going long after he died.  When my parents moved to Florida, I kept the beans going.  Until one fateful year when some bugs got into the seeds and turned them all to dust.  One hundred years of beans and it ended with me!  I killed the family legacy!  Two years ago, my brother found some seeds that he had squirreled away.  During a family visit, we all did a ceremonious bean planting.  If just one plant grew and produced seeds, the legacy would be saved!  Well, it was a cold, rainy summer, but one plant did sprout!  Unfortunately, we had frost before the beans could turn to seed.  I tried again last year, but nothing sprouted.  I have a few seeds left and will try again.  Maybe Giuseppe will look down on us and give us perfect bean growing weather! (And restore my standing in the family!)

The garlic I planted in the fall is already coming up but I noticed a "critter hole" near the plants.  If you meet a chipmunk with garlic breath, send him to me!!

I'm exhausted and my body is screaming.  This was so much easier when I was Kate's age!  Time to brew a cup of tea and sit and admire the work done so far.  In a perfect world, I could say "The butler did it.....!"  Enjoy Kate!

"Gardens are a form of autobiography." - Sydney Eddison

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