Thursday, May 17, 2007

Green thumb

I have inherited a lot from my mom. I'm not one of those girls who dreads the fact that she's "becoming her mother." I'm not too worried about that, as I have already taken the good from my maternal genetics, and weeded out the crazy. Mama can keep the cra-zee...she's much better at that than I am. Anyway, one thing I've certainly gotten from my mom is her green thumb. Right now, I'm enjoying some of the most beautiful and fragrant pale-pink peonies (probably my most favorite flower in the world) that my mother planted in front of my house when I moved in a few years ago. The peony bush was a cutting from my mom's peony bush, which was grown from a cutting from my grandmother's peony bush, etc. So, this love of gardening has, literally, been passed down to me through several generations. But, that's what southern women do, I guess. We keep things forever, then eventually pass those things on to the next in line. Like, how my mom hangs on to and "squirrels away" the 10 different partially-complete sets of random and assorted yard sale china that she likes to buy, and then unload onto me and my sister. But, I digress...

This discussion is not really about my Mama's cra-zee, but, rather, it is about my love of gardening and flowers. And, when I say "gardening," I mean buying flowers from a nursery every year, planting them while they're in bloom, enjoying my little summertime flower fantasia, then just letting nature take its course over the winter. I don't mulch, I don't weed, I don't till, I don't dead-head, and I don't "thin" or separate plantings and cultivate and replant them every year. Therefore, I'm a big fan of what is known as "container" gardening. With containers, there is no weeding, thinning, tilling, or winterizing. I simply buy a pot, put in some potting soil, and plant a flower. I'm not so much into the starting, seeding, growing, cultivating, and maintaining of a full-on flower bed.

See, my love of gardening has more to do with the plant selection, the arranging of the various flowers with other flowers (according to color, height, texture, and bloom), and the unique array of types of containers that do exist, just waiting to be utilized in a new and creative way. Yes, I am that person that has a fully-grown, mature, and quite prosperous "recycled old bathtub" water garden (complete with rocks, fountain, water lilies, moss, iris, frogs, tadpoles...and the occasional frog-eating black snake) in my front yard. I have two little windows that are the focal-point of the side of my house that faces the west-to-east approach up the road that runs by my place, and those windows get lots of late afternoon soon. Plus, from that side of my house, the little shack doesn't look too bad, so I like to "dress it up," as best I can. Right now, my window boxes out there are pretty ratty-tatty, and all but dead.

I'm getting ready to plan a new arrangement for those boxes, and I'm getting all excited about the colors I'm going to go with (probably something in pink and purple, which isn't really a surprise to anybody who knows me). I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with something that looks almost "too full," that has a lot of blooms; and, I know I'm going to be using several types of ivy to accent. It's that old English cottage look that I crave, which I must replicate in the American South, since I'll never, ever actually get to live in an English cottage. This is what I'll be doing for the next few days. I'll take a picture and update next week, when all is complete. I can't wait!

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