Oh, you were looking for me? Probably not, but I went awol for a while again. We had company from Chicago, our next door neighbors, in fact and that was a good thing because it reminded me that I have something to head back to as I begin the process of packing up our "winter life." It pleased me to hear that all the daffodils I planted last fall survived the wild temperature deviations of late winter and look lovely along the pathway. I’m sure they’ll be done by late next week, but still, that means I have the beginnings of a garden in Chicago, right?
Here, everything has taken off like gangbusters. (What?? What’s a gangbuster? Like a ghostbuster?) Here, everything is growing fast and well. I looked back at photos taken late January as I was finishing up the loose construction ends and just beginning to think about landscaping. Remember those crazy paver guys who worked without gloves or eye protection but screamed like girls at a small red necklace snake? Here’s that same area now. Millie the pig, bless her cowlicky soul, is tucked in there, snug among the butterfly bushes. I guess when you bury a pet in your yard, that makes it your home, right?
Along the fence, where it was pretty bare, I have ferns growing, a blooming gardenia and some dwarf jasmine. It smells a lot like Hawaii. I have orchids hanging where they pretty much mind themselves and bloom away. They get once-a-week irrigation watering plus whatever rain comes their way and thrive. Like certain children, they blossom with benign neglect when the general environment is conducive.
Remember I said I had planted some starts and seeds in left over cinder blocks here and there? One thing I planted was that mystery seed/nut/pod that fell on my head one day in yoga class at the botanical gardens. When in doubt, let it sprout! I have no idea what it will be- some kind of vine- and I hope it flowers. You can see that these Peniocereus and similar cactus bits and pieces that I snagged in my wanderings have evidence of new growth; some I’ve already planted out and about in the yard. They have spectacular blooms so I’m happy these have all taken hold. I planted coontie seeds too, but (yawn) I’m waiting for action on those. Maybe when I return next season. I was warned they are slow to start
Having a yard (as odd as it looks, sans grass and a peculiar mix of shell and mulch at the moment) and garden here in Florida has taken a lot of the edge off of leaving my beautiful perennial beds back in Michigan and not having much space at all to grow things in Chicago. It has helped my spirit and sense of wellbeing grow, too, after a tough year or so.
Still, and here’s probably more of the reason I went silent for a few days, it’s an unsettled patch we’re in for around here. I’m alone now for almost three weeks. Well, I have the cats but Rich took off on business plus an annual golf outing he’s done for thirty years with the same guys early this morning and through a bad alignment of the stars we won’t cross paths again, except for about 4 hours, for almost a month. I’m cleaning up, packing up and saying my goodbyes to yoga and garden buddies and the shelter children here and then I fly to Chicago to wake up the brownstone. He returns the day after I leave and loads up the traveling zoo (minus Millie, plus a few potted plants) and drives back. If he doesn’t hit a lot of northbound traffic I will see him for a few hours before I have a short trip, then he has a longer trip to Europe and so forth. Reminds me of that funny movie, The Terminal, where Tom Hanks literally lived at the airport. Except this doesn’t feel so funny, just unsettled.
I KNOW you haven’t forgotten about Good Planets this coming Saturday. Liza has already gotten me a stunning photo. Where’s yours? The theme is "water" as in rivers, oceans, lakes, streams, ponds…C’mon, you can do it. Share your vision of this Good Planet (or an ocean on another, if you have it). E-mail those to me here (see sidebar!) by Friday. THIS Friday. 48 hours. Snap, snap, snap.