Saturday, March 29, 2008
Finessing the Season
I may be pushing the season a little, but I prefer to think of it as offering encouragement to a winter-weary world.
This morning was bright and sunny and warm...when the wind wasn't blowing. The temperature, though, hovered in the high thirties.
But as we all know, pansies are hardy little things, and available at the better garden centers now.
I made the mistake of exploring new territory along Route 28 instead of hightailing to a place I knew and ended up driving entirely too far before I found such a garden center...but still I happily bought a flat of them in assorted colors, to tuck in here and there around the landscape.
There's a long strip of garden bed along a picket fence just inside the gate to the back yard. We had previously sited two of our holly bushes and some daylilies along there.
It'd also been the catch-all spot for all of our garden statuary, tomato stakes, gnomes, assorted pots, turtles, dinosaurs, etc, during the move. So today I tidied that up and planted a young rhododendron (which wintered en pot and looks to recover nicely), along with a couple of hostas, a sprig of lamium, a clump of vinca and some more daylilies.
I added some pansies in there, around the little bird feeder, and we found those cool blue ceramic starfish when cleaning out the shed recently.
After planting some more of the pansies in a windowbox on the back porch, and a few at Thumper George's grave (he was a BIG fan of the pansies), the rest found homes out front in the long border garden, where soon they'll cavort with a great crop of soon-to-debut crocuses, hyacinths and tulips (daffodils are a priority for fall planting this year).
Being a full sun area, I don't know if the pansies will last all summer...but with careful watering, deadheading and pinching back, I find I can coax them pretty far into the heat of summer. Taller neighbors can offer them some shade, perhaps and they can always be moved into shadier spots, as other more sun-loving plants come home from the nursery.
Anyway, their smiling little faces always make me happy and I'm pleased to welcome them. Their fragrance reminds me of the stately dutch Hyacinths which will be blooming soon; it's intoxicating.
Did you know the pansy means "You occupy my thoughts"in the flower language of the Victorian Age? It's true, you know!