Finally, FINALLY after many
years months of winter (you know, every single winter, towards the end, I wonder what the hell we’re thinking living here. Winters are long and frigid, summers are sweltering and unbearable) we had our first nice weekend since the fall. It was funny, all of my neighbors trickled outside while I was out front with the kids, we all looked a bit doughy and larva-like, squinting in the sun, and we very nearly assembled a block party to celebrate the oncoming spring (FINALLY).
And I was able to realize a 2 year old dream: I was finally able to get down -n- durrty in the garden.
It’s shocking to most people that I know, and I imagine the Internet drawing in a collective breath when I inform you that I am an avid (but novice) gardener and that I don’t just pay someone else to do it for me (much, MUCH more my MO for stuff that involves work and stuff) AND that I don’t burst into flames when presented with direct sunlight.
Apparently, this love of gardening runs in my family. My grandfather had his own greenhouse, I spent most of my spring, summer and fall as a child at the local botanical gardens (Aptly called The Chicago Botanical Gardens), my mother has always tended and grown nice gardens, and there is very little that makes me feel more alive than walking into the warm, wet humidity of a greenhouse. If I could bottle that smell up and wear it (much to Dave’s dismay) I would do it in a second.
The past two years have not afforded me much gardening time, first I was hugely pregnant last spring THEN I gave birth to what my father calls “Devil Boy” who is not only an albino (not really) but was a complete dick head last summer so that I couldn’t get out and do my thang. Sure, some of my (pathetic) bulbs from the previous year did come up, but I spent almost no time weeding or
playing them Brahms urging them to grow as I normally would.
Although I have a knack for it (and not a black thumb like The Daver), I am still puzzling certain things.
Mainly, do I buy bulbs in bulk (I’m planning a cala lilly/rose garden) from the hardware store OR do I shell out more cash and buy cala lilly bulbs from The Internet (which not only costs a bit more, but denies me the instant gratification of going and buying them right away)? Or is it just a scam for eager novices such as myself?
What do I need to know about standard roses? Partial sun? Fertilizer? I’m not planning to cross breed them or anything truly interesting (I need my own greenhouse before I can do this), I just want one to three rose bushes to intermix with the cala lilies (I’ve completely given up on the annual thing for anything but the many, many hanging baskets I will eventually have).
Any advice? I’ve tried to read up on it on my own, and have gotten absolutely nowhere. Apparently, the books and articles are written in a language I can’t possibly understand (maybe it’s ENGLISH).
(P.S. Ross, please put on a diaper)