Tag Archives: Plants

A Goodbye to a Much Loved Garden

Cherry tree - 1

When you have to move and have to relinquish a garden that you have nurtured for twenty eight years, every moment you have left becomes precious.  As spring approaches, I spend as much time as possible walking the grounds and basking in the memories of each small vignette:  The twenty eight foot Weeping Spruce growing in the secret garden that my son brought home one day from school after an Earth day program his kindergarten year. He proudly presented it to me in a small paper cup. The Beautiful Cherry that dear friends gave us in a gallon pot when our daughter was born. The Hostas I dug up and transplanted from my first house.  The stand of Brunnera a girlfriend shared from her own garden and the different varieties of Pulmonaria I collected through the years now in glorious bloom, just as I am getting ready to leave. As gardeners, we all know that a gift of a plant will always have meaningful memories attached to it and long lasting  life. As such, I walk away with an ache in my heart but with the realization that the plants will endure and hopefully will give joy for many years to come.

Pulmonaria goodbye - 1

My wish is that the new lucky owners of this piece of land, home to nesting birds that return from migration to this patch year after year, home also to the bunnies who eat non stop and the deer who make their morning and evening rounds,  home to frogs and garter snakes that keep pests in check and the woodchucks who eat the dandelion flowers as they are fresh each morning . The squirrels nesting in its trees and the chipmunks who dig tunnels in the most inconspicuous places. They all belong here more than us.  My message to these lucky new owners (as of this point, unknown) is that they can draw peace and inspiration from its beauty, bask in the shade of its mature trees and receive joy from the song of its many resident birds as we did for so many decades.

I face a new beginning in my gardening journey, moving South to zone 9 in Central Florida, fauna and flora quite different from Pennsylvania which affords me the opportunity of learning new plant families and create gardens that require less water and more sun. I will explore the rich world of Cacti and Succulents and experiment with some tropical plants and fruit trees. I am eager to explore and share my journey with you and hope you continue to join me in the adventures to come!

“A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education

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You can’t ever have too many plants.

This is why I find myself, even as the snow blows outside, dreaming about all the new fabulous introductions and pouring over catalogues.  One of my favorites, Plant Delights Nursery, in Raleigh, NC is 110 pages full of gorgeous plants with new varieties, that provide me with page after page of clearly described and beautifully photographed selections.  Bluestone Perennials, in Madison, OH  is another gem.  As with Plant Delights, all plants are listed by their botanical names, in alphabetical order.  Nothing is more annoying to a devoted gardener than a catalogue that only list plants by their common names,  many misrepresentations can be made and you can end up with the wrong choice of plant many even invasive varieties.

In any case, I make endless lists and try to find places to put in more and more new additions to an already full garden, all design principles go out of the window, because the temptation of this or that new plant is too much to resist. How else can I know this particular genus unless I grow it?  I ask myself… for me, that is always a winning argument.  So, dream on fellow gardeners, a couple of more months and we will be able to at least see the grass and early spring bulbs will start peeking from the ground.  In the meantime, I will pour over the new catalogues.

Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do – or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so.  ~Stanley Crawford