Wednesday, May 2, 2012

endless love

Somewhere inside of me beats a farmer's heart. As soon as the hint of spring rolls around, the urge to grow comes upon me and outrageous plans for that year's garden unfolds. Tomatoes, chilies, chard, peas...they all hold valuable real estate back there. If powdery mildew weren't such a problem (oh the nerve), I'd grow pumpkins, squash, zucchini, cucumbers and more. Being so caught up in a food growing craze, it wasn't until a few years ago that I embraced a new-found love for decorative perennials. We'd only planned to live in our tiny house for a few years. Instead of focusing on long-term growth, I threw my energy into veggies and watering impatients (what was I thinking). I'd already been on the herb wagon, so I had a firm appreciation for endless bounty. But it was only after accepting that our 5-year plan would be more like 10, that I threw my efforts into more decorative perennials and watched the action unfold.  

There's something satisfying about watching plants come up year after year, seeing them grow into something big, bold and beautiful. In a garden as small as mine, perennials that double take over, so eventually I get to spread the love around. Irises, Sweet William, Ajuga, Astilbe, Bleeding Hearts, Purple Coneflowers, Black-Eyed Susans...they were all gifts from family and friends. And likewise, I've shared my Thyme, Mint, Oregano, and Strawberries. I've even cut out the beginnings of a new lilac bush as mine began to spread. Just knowing that each and every plant out back came from a loving home with a story to tell warms my heart.  

I inherited these hostas one summer when a neighbor was rebuilding their home generously offering up their flowerbeds to our shovels before the dump trucks destroyed years of growth. I happily pounced upon that glorious beauty up there along with several clumps of Siberian Irises. And as gorgeous as she is in subtle shades of green, its really in black and white where she gets the chance to shine. I just divided her for the first time this year, and now I've got two gorgeous beauties out back gracing our back patio in style. When I saw Alison's hostas in the group pool, I couldn't help but wonder where they'd come from. Those raindrops glistening. The leaves about to unfold. Don't they look like they've got a special story to tell too?

Holly ~ Soupatraveler
monochrome blooming
monochrome blooming by ajbbents


Gilly said...

There's something so satisfying about growing things; I never thought so when I was younger, but I love it now. And to have a garden full of plant gifts from people you love is a bit special. I adore hostas, but have never lived anywhere I could grow them - too many slugs. Slugs just love them and will strip a plant overnight. said...

Your photo and Alison's photo pair together perfectly! I love plants with a history. As a landscape designer, I can't help but wonder where these little ones got their start. I have some iris that my grandfather took from his parents house 15 years ago. After my my grandfather passed away I dug up the iris and brought them to my house. Every year when they bloom I think of him and my great grandparents that I never knew.

Tara Romasanta said...

Oh, I just love both of these shots. I have fond memories of my hosta-hand-me-downs (back in MN). Here in the desert, it has been a whole new learning curve -- lots of plants new to me, and lots of familiar plants that grow oh-so-differently there. (I'm still recovering from the zucchini disaster of last year.)

Kirstin said...

You are so inspirational, dear Holly! This makes me want to go and start digging in our garden!

urban muser said...

you are making me want to get my hands dirty right now. alas, i don't have a backyard where i live so i'll have to wait a little longer. i loved this post holly!

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