Well, gardening friends, it’s late February. Only a few weeks stand between us and the official start of spring. Despite the recent ice, despite the inevitable frosts that will still surprise us here and there, winter is throwing her final tantrum. The time to rest is over. Plenty of outside chores can be done immediately, not to mention all the true planning, ordering, and seed starting we should be doing, now that we’ve daydreamed ourselves into the perennial stupor.
I’ve decided that all of my 2015 gardens will be more intentional than in years past.
One of the most vivid overarching lessons I learned in the Master Gardener class last autumn was how to choose suitable plants for each very different spot in my little corner of Eden. Previously, and I so hate to admit this, my strategy was more like this: Drive in a fevered haze to my favorite nurseries and scoop up every colorful thing I could afford.
Ha! Then maybe I’d get it in the ground that afternoon, or maybe I’d find a desperate earthy spot for it a week later, but that wasn’t always the most ideal site. And I always just hoped that with enough water and manure, the poor things would survive. It’s a miracle I ever grew anything, really. I was just having so much fun.
Well, gardening is nothing but fun and miracles! But you know what I mean.
Survival and excited playtime are no longer enough. Thriving and design is where it’s at now. I want to begin in earnest to build a perennial masterpiece that will be here for my grandchildren should we choose to stay at the farm that long. And I want to feed us here beyond what I’ve done in the past.
And in the short term? Rumor has it a young lady in our extended family is considering the farm for her upcoming wedding! So smarter gardening, more beautiful native gardening, is on my mind. This bride will have a flowering landscape for her memories if I have anything to do with it.
As for the edibles, I have decided to grow more of what we actually eat and waste a little less money and energy on seed catalog experiments.
One excellent resource for finding plants that will perform well here is the Master Gardener website, specifically the tab for Oklahoma Proven Selections. Check it out! Every year a distinguished panel of gardeners tests, proves, and selects a handful of plants ranging from annuals to trees and everything in between. What a beautiful collection it is, too! I’ll definitely be comparing my flowering daydreams to this list a lot in 2015.
Happy late February, friends. Don’t let winter’s final tantrum get you down. She will soon be escorted out the door and all your flowering, fragrant, delicious garden daydreams will come to Technicolor life. You’ll be free to forget all about the ice and snow and get to the work you love so much.
O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?
~Percy Bysshe Shelley