As for the subject today, my preoccupation with getting my gardens in.
One of the things about living in the middle of the country is that our weather tends to be "hit or miss" as to the number of days between November and May that are conducive to being outdoors. Oh sure there are the occasional sunny warm day that begs you to step out your front door. These are usually followed up with a blast of wind, a drenching rain, or a freezing snow storm to remind you that you are in the Midwest. So it isn't really all that surprising that sometime around the middle of May, a lot of Midwesterners collectively lose their minds when the sun makes an appearance. It's very much like bugs being lured into a bug zapper. The light beckons us.
We step out into the world and are amazed that the sun is still in the heavens and want to participate in all that is Spring. (FYI..This need to spend copious amounts of time basking in the sun, is going to play havoc with my blogging schedule.)
Thought Number One: Gardening is not a hobby as much as it is an addiction.
While our hardiness zone for planting here in Kansas says that our "suggested" last day for frost is May 15th, most hardy and hail (glutton for failure types) start heading for the local nurseries around April 1st. We tell ourselves that we are just going for inspiration and/or for starter seedlings that we won't plant into the earth for weeks yet. Of course, all the truly avid gardeners, are lying when they say this and invariably end up buying shopping carts full of plants. One would think that the common occurrence of snow in April here would act as a deterrent but no...the delusional thinking of a Midwestern gardener knows no bounds. The signal to get started is the convergence of the sun actually shining AND the thermometer registering 65 degrees or above. It doesn't really matter if those two events only last a few minutes, the starting gun has sounded.
That, too, is my cue to spend hours and hours AND hours in my yard. This act of coming out of hibernation does not go unnoticed by my neighbors. Those of you that have followed my blog for awhile might remember the comment from the neighbor that suggested that people that "waste" all their time gardening are crazy. The fact she said this to me as I was planting a new flower bed pretty much negated any chance of her being my favorite neighbor. She certainly doesn't gain points if it turns out that there is a measure of truth in her statement.
Thought Number Two: Beauty is In the Eye of the Beholder
Just as people have diverse tastes in food, clothing, home styles...and everything else, what people consider a pretty yard is equally varied. This time of year there are garden tours just about every weekend. There is something so interesting about getting to peek into the backyards of people that have fashioned some version of a personal sanctuary.
One of the backlashes of garden tours is that the more "ideas" you see the more compelled you are to try new things in your own garden. Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting 6 gardens on the Johnson County Master Gardeners tour and came home with renewed energy to rework my planting beds. A garden is always making subtle changes without any help at all. Nature has a way of creating and destroying a landscape without help from humans but drastic changes are immediate when a human gets involved.
BUT..as with many things, I am aware that planting gardens have become passe. As a Realtor I hear many people say they wouldn't want the extra work required by anything other than the most basic landscaping. I recognize I am an anomaly in my neighborhood. Most people want 100 percent turf. They prefer no obstacle to mow around. The thought of deadheading flowers or watering planters is unnerving. I laughed when one neighbor told me that she was striving for a low maintenance lawn that consists of clover, crabgrass and dandelions. In my heart of hearts though, I can't think of many things that are as pretty as a beautiful garden. I guess this is just one of those things that I choose to follow my own path. If you need me, I am out in my yard.
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