I'm coveting coneflowers. And caladiums. And heliotrope.
Welcome, summer. Thought you'd never get here.
I didn't get a very timely start on my gardening this year. Partly it was the weather, which kept veering back and forth between unseasonably hot and unseasonably cold, while dumping down so much rain that I occasionally contemplated seeing if I could grow waterlilies at the bottom of the yard. And partly it was my schedule, working hard on back-to-back deadlines so there would be both a summer book and a Christmas book this year, on top of a lot of family stuff that included losing Mom.
There were good reasons why I didn't get much gardening done in March, or April, or May. But at the moment, I'm wishing I could hop in my time machine. Surely I could find a few spots where an hour of so of weeding and planting would produce marvelous benefits by now.
Ah, well. Next year.
Next year I'm going to mark my calendar so I order the caladiums while there's still a good selection. And the coneflowers—I'm a sucker for a particular kind of pink coneflowers that the plant breeder Monrovia has developed—either “Pink Double Delight”or “Double Scoop Bubblegum.” (That's one of them at the top.) Only found a few this year, and got them in later than optimal. Next year I'll put in the heliotrope plants sooner, so I have more time to enjoy the intoxicating, almost too-sweet fragrance. Next year I'll sweep the deck and clean up the planters early, so they're all ready to tuck plants and bulbs in. Next year I'll weed regularly as soon as the weeds appear, and de-dandelion the yard more often, and--
Gardeners are optimists.
Writers are, too. We have to be. Only an optimist could sit down, open a brand new blank document (or take out a blank sheet of paper, for those who do things the old fashioned way) and not panic at the thought of how many hours of work lie ahead, how many words typed and erased and retyped and edited and reedited, until the blank document turns into a book.
I'm getting close to opening that blank document. Right now, I'm still working on my outline—I'm not as much of a planner as I used to be, but I still like to have at least an approximate idea of where I'm going when I launch myself into a book. And I have to take a research trip—the book will be set on a cruise ship on which Meg's grandfather is giving lectures about wildlife and the environment, so I'm taking a short cruise. And almost as soon as I get back from that, I start the draft. I have the date marked on my calendar. July 1.
Which means in a few weeks, I will once more have way too many excuses for neglecting the garden. So now's the time to tackle whatever garden chores I want to get done before I go into draft mode, in which I walk around with my head in my own fictional world a good bit of the time and barely notice the weeds.
I still have a few unfilled pots. Wish I could find someplace that sells love lies bleeding. Maybe a few more scented geraniums? Did the black-eyed Susans survive the winter? For some reason, they don't survive in my yard—the deer might be to blame—but the clump I stuck in a large pot on the deck has lasted several years. Maybe another daylily or two—it's definitely the deer to blame for my not being able to grow day lilies except in planters on the deck. And--
Don't mind me. I'm still deep in gardener mode. Writer mode happening soon enough.