Friday, February 26, 2010

Bare hands

One of the things that goes unrealized by people who come to Las Vegas from back East is that if you want stuff to live, you have to plant it before April. If you don't, it won't have a strong enough root system to stand the summer. So while the rest of country is still covered in snow, I generally spend the last week of February outside, digging in the dirt, planting, fertilizing, replacing mulch and gravel and pulling up weeds left by the winter rains.* This year I've planted two new species of penstemons, along with scrophularia and Jupiter's beard -- all low-water native plants that like the sun.
I used to plan my flowerbed. One year I put lavender with artemesia, thinking that the purple flowers and gray-green leaves would look nice together. The lavender didn't thrive and the artemesia did -- in fact, the artemesia took over the bed and I've never had the energy to root it up. (I like to think that now I can make my own absinthe, should I choose.) So, what with unusual seeds that just happened to thrive and impulse buys at the nursery, my flowerbed is the same every year -- a total work in progress, never done, never perfect. I always have a new plant that I think is going to cover all my bare spots. Last year it was globe mallow, another low-water plant, which ran wild and then expired, leaving a weedy skeleton to loom over the bed most of the summer. Just today I discovered a guest -- I don't think it's something I planted but it's not a weed and where it came from I can't tell. I'll just have to wait and see.
I'd hate to have a garden that was so perfect I didn't need to work in it.

*You all can quit envying me in May, when it's too hot to go outside.

1 comment:

laurel said...

I'm content having the cool winters, but it is fascinating to hear about other climates. And making absinthe. Hee hee. THAT could be interesting!

BTW, I have a gift for you over on my blog.