As the crocuses and daffodils stretch their little leaves up through our rain-drenched soil, I get excited. Not just for Spring, but because I'm going to buy flowers and plant them and love them and care for them.
I wait semi-anxiously for the last frost (I adore winter, so I can't get too excited about the warm weather) so I can head out to buy the prettiest flowers I can find.
And here's what happens every single year: I wander up and down the nursery aisles having absolutely no clue what to buy. It's all gorgeous. I want it all. But I'm not so green that I don't know that all plants have needs. That I can't possibly help with. After half an hour of wrenching indecision, I leave. Frustrated.
This year, dang it, the gardening catalogs caught up with me. How could I resist the summer flower garden that arrives on my doorstep already a year old and transplant-ready? Delphiniums, columbine, hens and chicks... And something labeled Medium Pink. Huh?
There was nothing in the planting directions about Medium Pink. So I just guessed and put it back by the tall delphiniums. If it turns out to be ground cover? Well, it'll be very pretty, completely obscured ground cover.
Here's the bee-yoo-tiful picture that convinced me to pull out the trusty Amex card...
It took me 10 days to plant the little dried out root things sent via large envelope. (Silly me, I thought I was getting flowers that already looked like flowers!) I hated leaving them in their little plastic bags, but 13 straight days of rain and hail made it difficult to get outside (willingly).
Today I did it, though. I tried really hard to psyche myself up. Yay, flowers! Yay, a good reason to stay outside! Yay, gardening is so fun!
It didn't work. Gardening is no fun. No fun at all. It's just gross with mud and worms and grubs and ugly, dead-looking, moldy root things... Fun was definitely not being had.
Did I mention it was insanely windy outside? Not ideal conditions for planting a garden in any case. It wasn't raining, though, and here in the NW, if it's not raining, we go outside. No matter what.
Of course, in my great enthusiasm two months ago, I ordered two of the flower garden sets. 20 plants in each. And ranunculus. And ginormous strawberries. (I don't even like strawberries.)
Hours. It took hours. In my mind, it took all day. But that's not really true. And it didn't even take that many hours.
But it felt like it!
Now I just have to keep these things alive. Good luck, Kate. And, Kate? Throw out the catalog when it comes next year.