To say my gardens have “naturalized” is putting lipstick on the pig. Over the years, when I had money but no time, they were tidy but limited to whatever the previous homeowner had done. My role was purely maintenance. My mother sent me 50 tulip bulbs the first summer I lived here. The second, when she asked what I wanted for my birthday, I replied an old-fashioned deep purple lilac bush.
Both the bush and the bulbs have done their best under the circumstances for the past 8 years but have never thrived. I live on a ledge. The topsoil is minimal and the granite surface is unforgiving. Lush gardens demand attention. Hell, even growing crabgrass is a challenge! Container gardening and “naturalization” are the key to color around here.
When Alice and I went out on our errands Saturday, my mind was running through a budget of what I could splurge on and where I would get the most bang for my meager bucks. We stopped at the dump first and she reveled in the smells of the “recycling” station. The grain store plants proved scarce and the potting soil was expensive. I was willing to at least pick up window boxes but the line was out the door with weekend gardeners. I reined in my expenses once again. We found a lovely central spot for Alice near the cart return at the grocery. She meditated on the silly human behavior while I shopped. She never barks. I have snuck up on her many times wondering if she threw a fit like so many dogs in cars at the store. Instead she harrumphs to herself in her version of Chinese.
I still had to pass one nursery on the way home and the bright riot of pansies drew me in. Alice sat watch over the groceries. The prices were about half and the choices were young but healthy. I may be surprised with what blooms as I bought the mixed seedlings blindly. When I came home and put my glasses on to read what I had purchased, I realized most grow quite tall and are not recommended for containers; Gazinias, Salvia, Stock, Dahlias and Cleomes.
Alice as rewarded with a sunny back deck and a marrow bone while I hauled pots, soil and plants around to the warm front deck. I planted and dug and drove the dirt deep under my nails for a couple of hours.