Friday, May 6, 2016

Enough is Never Enough

I plant far too much stuff in my garden. I can’t help it. I drop in at a garden centre for a couple of plants and I come home with a couple of flats. It’s less expensive if you fill the whole flat, they tell me at the cash register. So back I go to fill the thing, even though I only have two plants in it. Then I find I still have a couple too many so I fill the second flat.

It’s not that I don’t possess a degree of logic and the ability to make calculations in my head that would show it’s costing me more. That’s not the reason. The reason is the season.

In spring I have to plant and plant and plant. I admire people that can enter a garden centre with a list and leave the place with no more items purchased than were on their list. At any other store I can do this, but not where plants are concerned. It must have something to do with survival — the instinct to ensure there’ll be a good crop by fall. Except it’s mostly flowering plants I’m buying.
As for vegetables, it’s a much simpler process. I plant most from seed — beans, peas, lettuce, zucchini. In the veggie garden I worry less about how it looks or whether the colours are coordinated.

I’ve come to the conclusion that planting my garden is like doing a jigsaw puzzle without a picture to go by and, if you’ve ever completed a jigsaw puzzle, you’ll know that the pieces with flowers or foliage are the hardest ones to place. On top of that, I’m always missing pieces or having to force in extra ones.

I typically take an extended walking tour of my property doing just that — trying to find the perfect spot for whatever plant is in my hand. Prefers shade says the tag, but the best shady corner is full. There’s space in another shady spot, but the plant in my hand is too large for that location. There’s only one more option, but the colour is all wrong and it will clash terribly — too bad, I’ll relocate the one that’s beside it. If I can’t find a space, I’ll fill another planter — there’s still room on the deck for a couple more.

Days later I begin again with another trunk load. I know it’s madness, but I love it. Despite the
turmoil and frenzy of planting that I go through each May, it’s the best of times and it only gets better as the garden grows lush and more colourful throughout the season.