Saturday, May 13, 2006

Gardening and Road Trips.

I had fully intended to have pictures to show some of my weekend activities, but I was gone for all the hours of full sun today, when pictures would have turned out best. Another time.

Picked up some more plants. I think it must be an instinctive thing that happenes as the earth dips lower and lower, and the days get longer and longer. I simply itch to get flowers planted and a garden growing. I find it nearly impossible to resist. I bought nine packs of vincas (I think) and sweet william, as well as a twenty-four pack of another perennial flower. This may also be vincas, but I don't remember. I also transplanted lavender, daisies (which I don't think will survive the transplant), columbines, an unidentified plant sending out a head of tiny white flowers, and yarrow, which will likely recover eventually. I think I also transplanted a straggly mint. I planted my wild blue flax, although it isn't where I wanted to plant it, but the herbicide sprayed throughout the yard to kill off the abundance of weeds in preparation for tilling, new soil and sod, hasn't taken effect, so I didn't want to plant it in the spot I had selected only to have them respray and kill it.

I bought a couple of overpriced small box planters stuffed with a variety of annuals, thinking that one of the boxes would make a lovely housewarming gift for our latest closing. I also bought oregano and tomato plants and 5 bags of compost to dig into the planter beds, and a huge bag of Miracle Grow potting soil for the pots I want to plant the tomatoes in.

Therein lies the problem. At Lowes there were several pots that looked good but weren't real pottery. I know, I know, that sounds snobbish or something, but I don't want Fiberglas pots or plastic pots. I want big substantial ceramic or clay pots, heavy, breakable and real.

So, with Alex in tow (he went along to do the heavy lifting), I decided to head out for one of the two shops I know carry big, ceramic pots of all descriptions and just hope I could afford something really great. I have visions of the wonderful pots in gardens along the Amalfi Coast, in their formal settings, surrounded by boxwoods or privet hedges and lovely manicured lawns. I can't manage a formal garden with it's strong forms, need for serious maintenance and hedge clipping, but I want to have the feel of outdoor rooms to walk, wisteria arbors, bougenvilia hanging over tall garden walls...

Well, in Colorado, many of those items will have to be altered, but back to the road trip.

I was close to the entrance to Hwy83, so I decided to take that road toward a neat shop I had seen many times on my way to Parker, rather than take Hwy 24 up Ute Pass to the other shop I had visited previously. (Camino Real?) Well, we drove and drove (it's been a while since I took Hwy 83), but finally got to Jackalope, where there were rows and rows of wonderful pots in all shapes, sizes and colors. Immediately I headed for the 50% off row, since I wanted to buy fairly large pots. I found two large pots with an espresso glaze (about knee height) and bought both of them for a total of $40. Yea!

After getting them home, Alex lugged them up the back stairs to the deck, where I filled them and planted tomatoes and oregano. I don't know whether to add other herbs in the pot as well. I'm thinking it could be a great idea, but I'm wondering if the tomatoes, once they are full size, would block out the sun the herbs would need. Putting plants in the back of the truck, right next to the tailgate, then taking off at 65 mph probably wasn't the smartest thing I could have done. While the plants remained in their pots, they looked windblown, like I would after riding in a convertible with the top down. Perhaps the boxes will recover in time to make a nice gift for our home buyers. I can't wait to harvest my own tomatoes and make bruschetta or pico de gallo fresh from the garden. Maybe I'll find a spot for some more tomatoes.

This morning I went to a women's function "Frugal Flirts", a group of ladies who get together once a month for food and conversation. This month the theme was European Vacation. Everyone was to bring a brunch dish from a country in Europe, and to dress for a European Vacation. I got up early and went to the store for vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh basil and some fresh italian bread to use for bruschetta. It cost about 7 bucks for 5 tomatoes. Yikes! I really need to plant more tomatoes! I wore the dress I had on when we walked along the Meditteranean at was it Gaeta or Formia? I don't recall. I even did my hair as I wore it on that trip. I slept in big fat pincurls through much of the trip so I could avoid buying a new hair dryer or a conversion kit. Now, I would just wash it, comb it and pull it back in a barrette. Much easier.

A shift at the mall, and as I was finishing up, I talked to my friend Evelyn on the phone and was invited to come to join her and another friend, Beth W. at The Silent Woman, an absolutely wonderful boutique with furnishings, decor and gifts of a truly special variety. How could I resist a wonderful smelling Italian hand lotion. My hands have been really rough, dry and sore from gardening without my gloves on. I own them, I just forget to wear them. Oh well, even when I have them on, I often pull them off to feel the soil. You can't really garden without dirt under your fingernails, can you?

Now that I have this lovely bottle of lotion, I'll have to scrub the bathroom so that the bottle isn't lost amidst dirt and clutter.

Does spring make you feel like planting things? Like camping? Like hiking through Garden of the Gods? Like... I'd love to know.


Beth said...

I guess it makes Mitch feel like planting things, he has been so great this year. It does make me fantasize about planting things, yes. :-)

It makes me think about backpacking. But the sad thing is, working fulltime in a building, I really feel mostly season-less.

Kim said...

O Beth, you must take your lunches on the balcony (after you finish reading my blogs, of course.) But that may make you feel quite restless. I love to drive with the windows open, just to get fresh air. It wreaks havoc with my hair, but that's what a brush is for!