Outside gardening is a different story and my thumb is greener than money. I love to plant things and what them grow, taking great pride in my perennials and flowering shrubs. The soil is rich in the backyard, so much so if a plant grows and blooms and I cut it back I can expect a second showing before the season is out. The soil has been tilled with seaweed and organic matter for years by the previous owner, thank-you Roy! Rich, black soil, cool and velvet to the touch. I usually don't wear gloves so my hands look like crap all summer with dirt embedded deep under the nails but they are happy hands and a small price to pay to connect with nature.
I love flowers. Especially blue ones and I try to have as many varieties of plants as possible. Hydrangea's are my favorite bush and each Easter I buy one for the house and then put it in the garden in the late spring. They are a hardy bush, that seems to like where I put them. Hydrangea is a plant that thrives on water, thence the first part of the name, so I plant them in drainage areas and they thank me by producing huge blue globes of flowers. The soil is also acidic enough that I don't have to add aluminum sulphate to enjoy the deep blue colour that I love. Sometimes I dry them but I usually just enjoy them outside. There is knack to cutting the globes at just he right time but I find it hit and miss so until I get it right, I'll just enjoy them in at the end of their branch.
Lilies are another favorite. I have so many I can't keep track of all their names so I just enjoy their beauty. Overall my favorite flower is the gladiola but they grow so spindly that I prefer buying them in bunches when in season, having the benefit without all the work of keeping them upright in the wind. There is something so breathtaking about a flower. All one has to do it look deep into the center to be rendered speechless. Words pale in their resplendence.
I have flowers in my house from late Spring to Fall. I've announced to anyone who cares to listen that I want my flowers before I die. So don't be bringing them by when I can't touch, smell or see them. If you want to make me smile, pick a bouquet from your garden, a few lilacs from your tree, or grab some lovelies from along the highway, I'll take anything, anytime and I'll appreciate the sentiment more than if you handed me gold.
In winter I do buy little bundles of tulips at the grocery store when available. There is something about they way a tulip gently drapes itself over the side of the vase that makes me smile. Yellow ones are my favorite but I wouldn't turn my nose up on any colour. When we first moved into our current house, I planted hundreds of tulip bulbs in the yard, all kinds of specialty ones with interesting petals but I never saw a bloom. Sure they tried to come up, but the deer came down and mowed them off that first spring and it's been about 15 years now and not one flower. Obviously, tulips are as tasty as they are beautiful and the deer must have some sort of tulip radar to detect them from deep in the forest. Even after all these years, one or two will try to rise up out of the ground, timidly sending out a leaf to test the way only to be mowed off in the middle of the night as if they don't have a right to live. So I've done the only thing I can if I want spring colour in my garden. I plant daffodils. Not a hardship by any means but they don't come in a huge array of colour like the beautacious tulip. But that's life and I have to work around the dietary requirement of the four legged creatures who treat my garden like a buffet.
Rhododendrons are another favorite but they don't stand a chance against the ravenous forest rats as my hubby commonly refers to the deer. I have to admit I'm consumed with envy when I drive by a yard boasting a lush Rhodie bush, heavily laden with blossoms. Deep rich purples are my favorites...be still my heart! The neighbour's bush, although still standing after being ravaged, is a bit of a dog's breakfast. At one point the shrub had been about seven to eight feet tall and at least ten feet in diameter and then in one felled swoop, the deer descended and chewed off every leaf along the bottom and middle so that now the only foliage is high up where they can't reach. An awful looking bush of bare branches with a thin canopy of flowers and leaves across the top. I guess Bambi Scissorhand was going for a topiary look but didn't have the skill to pull it off.
In the winter I don't have flowers as much, except on special occasions and holidays. Good quality flowers, such as you would purchase from a floral shop will last a very long time with proper care. Plants and flowers from grocery stores don't last as long and although cheaper they just don't give you the punch or bang for you buck. I have a good friend who owns Seaside Flowers in Lunenburg, NS. I do all my flower business through her, and I've never been disappointed. Deanna Gear, owner, is also one of the Main Street Hookers and has been rug hooking for several years now. She usually drops by on Saturday for a chat after her deliveries. I love her shop would like to give her a plug......one woman in business to another......so check out her website via the attached link. http://www.lunenburgflowers.com/