The dogwoods are leafing out - and the flowers, now green with just a hint of white - are unfolding. Every year I promise myself that I will notice that moment when they go from green to white. Every year I miss that moment when they go from green to white.
A few days ago, just back from Virginia, it was nice to get back out into the garden, and to spend some time on the daunting task of spring cleaning (spring cleaning the garden, not the Airstream - that's a story for another time...). removed all of the small dead (mostly lower) branches on the five dogwoods in my garden. Three of them were tiny things when I planted them - just 'sticks' - and now they are each between 10 and 15 feet tall.
A few bok choy are still in the raised bed vegetable garden - two are probably still harvestable - the other two are starting to go to flower. I always, intentionally, leave a few brocolli or lettuces, and now bok choy - to flower. I like them, blooming amidst the newly planted potatoes and spinach and onions.
I was thinking yesterday about how so much of life is about one's attitutde. You hear this said over and over again - and while I think that some horrific events in life are truly not worthy of a good attitude, that whole 'turning lemons into lemonade' thing is probably a good idea most of the time.
So I've decided, rather delusionally, that this period of unemployment could be viewed as a sabbatical. One without pay. My primary focus during this period is writing - both manuscripts and grants - and then scattered in there somewhere are a few invited seminars. That sounds like a sabbatical to me.
"Man's greatest asset is the unsettled mind." - Isaac Asimov
If Isaac is indeed on to something here, then I'm in good shape.
Bergenia cordifolia 'Autumn Glory'
I planted Bergenia in my garden for the first time last year, three small plants, and all three are starting to bloom this year. The flowers are nice (and are blooming early, while the main perennials in the garden are just emerging) - and the foliage is definitely interesting.
I can't wait for the giant allium's to open - I planted a few of them last fall for the first time.
Ferns are unfolding everywhere - smooth shiny ones and ones that look more like the tail of a green dog. I had meant to divide some of them last fall, but obviously missed getting around to that. No worries - gardens forgive.
I haven't spent much time reading blogs of late, between the visit to Virginia and the lab's quest to write about a million manuscript (aka a dozen) this year - but last night I did roam around a bit, and as always - found much to enjoy.
First, there was this wonderful post at A Tidewater Gardener titled 'The Samurai's Camellia' - and what fascinated me the most was the bonsai'ed camellia. Wow. I think I might need to try that - stunning, don't you think? Second, this post titled 'I may have an ugly garden. Depends on what day you look.' over at Bloomingwriter was just superb. However, if I could have, I would have called Jodi up in the middle of the night and asked 'what post are you referring to?' since she did not link to it (for good reason) - so to avoid some of you from my fate last night (of roaming the gardening blogosphere until I found it): here it is. My thoughts? Garden anyway you want - just be sure that you enjoy it. If you don't, I doubt that you can call it a garden at the end of the day.
I also came across a new, Charleston-area garden blog with a simply delightful name: Children of the Corm. What a great name! She seems to be having a bit of the blogging blues, so you might want to stop by and say hello (I tried to - but I don't do the google, typepad acct linking them - just the name/URL thing so, CoftheC, if you stop by, I did try to say hello!). Also, a Virginia garden blogger will soon be a South Carolina gardener - now that's a nice thought. Oh - and go and look at The Transplantable Rose's video of cedar waxwings playing in her fountain (it's down towards the end of the post).
There is never enough time, but boy, when I can steal a bit, I always enjoy what I find. Sometimes, here, I just write and post and forget that there is a world out there.
Last August I purchased from Lowe's three small pots of japanese forest grass. I was thrilled to find them at such a good price - but I'm more thrilled to see them emerge this spring. I planted them last year at the worst possible time (August, in the south? What was I thinking...) - and I must laugh at myself because for some reason I thought they were an 'evergreen' grass. Huh? So when they died back, I thought I had lost them. But now, here they are, and I am thrilled.
Now, I don't want to whine too much about how unemployment has strained my otherwise foolishly high plant budget. There's just no purpose in that. However I must say that my plant purchasing binges last year - all of which I blame on stress of course - are certainly going to be enjoyable this season. Also, it's not only the plant purchases that I will enjoy, but a number of friend's passed along plants to me (concerned about my plight) and I also began propagating plants again, something I've always enjoyed but, quite simply, got out of the habit of doing.
And then there are seeds. So many seeds.