Friday, March 18, 2011

On Gardening

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Lupine and larkspur coming up fast; delphiniums and cleomes should be next!
When J and I moved into our current apartment together last July, it was our first apartment together.  We'd stayed together, for a few months at a time, but always in apartments that were "J's apartment" or "Eileen's apartment."  At the time, I was too busy to appreciate it: I was getting ready to take my exams, we had a lot of shit to move, and as soon as I was done with my exams, both sets of parents came to visit us.  Then there was the rush of the holidays, and I only now feel like I'm really settling in to this apartment as home.

And not just because it's not busy any more.  In the fall, I put in bulbs that my mother, J's mother, and some dear friends sent me.  (As an aside, how wonderful is the phrase "fictive kin"?  It comes up a lot in my academic work as an abstract idea, but there are several older women I worked with back in Snowy City who I became very close to which make its meaning very real).  And now those bulbs are starting to come up!

I got out yesterday and pulled up some very enthusiastic weeds, and besides what I had planted last fall and the crocuses which have gone wild from our neighbors' yard, I found a big bed near the house of crocuses and snowdrops blooming under the weeds.  I only planted a handful of crocuses and snowdrops, last fall, but now our back yard is practically purple there's so many of them.  Our downstairs neighbors (we're in the top floor of a duplex) have been here for several years, but neither garden or know much about plants, nor do our landladies, and none of them thought that there had been much flowers put in.  There's so much here!  I can already see big patches of daffodils, tulips, and daylilies that I didn't put in, and there's a giant wisteria vine growing over one patch of fence and an old rose bush that needs some TLC.

I'm so excited and happy to have a garden this year.  Not only is what I put in coming up, but I feel really connected to this house having a pre-established garden and permission from the neighbors and the landladies to do whatever I want.  My parents are divorced, and the first thing my mother did when she bought her own house after the divorce was to move all of her established plantings to the new place.  That always felt very significant to me, and the last series of apartments I've been in have felt very temporary (despite all the holes I've put in walls!) because at the end of it, you're not supposed to have any impact on the space.  We're not going to be in this apartment forever (or even much past next fall) but it's a nice feeling to create a space with someone.

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So happy spring, everyone!  I hope it's warm enough where you are to start playing in the garden, or at least warm enough to start peeling off layers.  

J and I will be in NYC next week for spring break vacation/research trip (hopefully less eventful than our last trip), so I'll miss the peak of crocuses, but hopefully there'll be lots of daffodils when we get back!  And since it'll be part research trip, part vacation, expect pictures of all the ridiculous things we'll buy, eat and do.  


  1. I can't wait to be in a place where I can plant tuberoses and they'll actually bloom before I move. I will also deluge the yard with daffodils. There is nothing, nothing, nothing like those bright yellow spots in the yard. I hope we have dirt where we're going. And speaking of plants, I just read this about herb cuttings:

  2. I didn't know you could do herb cuttings, thanks for the link! I have a terrible black thumb with anything edible--my house plants and flowers seem to do fine, but I never get more than a handful of beans. :(

  3. Now that we're seriously underway with the job-search, I can't bring myself to plant anything. I might just go get a flat of flowers for the front of our house. Herbs, on the other hand, are going in (we're lazy and buy baby plants instead of seeds). I can keep a basil plant all summer, but it will start to look pretty scraggly.