Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tulip Mania...and more

Hellooooo, my pretty!

I've been playing in the dirt here at this old farm for almost 28 years. The size of the yard has tripled, dumb move on my part I'll admit...I can't keep up.

When my sister was very pregnant with her daughter (who is now in college) we went on a little day-trip to Butchart Gardens in British Columbia. It's one of those places that makes a garden dreamer like me gasp with delight. That day, the place was buzzing with staff gardeners who were merrily puttering in the spring beds. I struck up a conversation with a charming uniformed elderly gardener, he was relaxed and I hoped to be in my garden some day. I asked him how many gardeners / hours / acres. He had the facts and figures I was looking for. I went home and did the math, according to my calculations my garden would require 40+ hours a week according to the Butchart gardener hours to acreage (or square footage) data. At that time those figures made me feel a whole lot better about the fact that I couldn't keep up with my garden.
Jump ahead 20+ years. The yard is three times the size it was back then. What on earth was I thinking?
Well...I was thinking about how cool it would be to have a fish pond, I've been fish-crazy since I was a little kid and there was an aquarium in the doctor's office. I liked going to the doctor because I could gaze at those fish and dream about having my own someday.
I thought it would be great to have a cutting garden, someplace to go and cut glorious bouquets to bring in the house or share with friends.
I wanted to be like my grandpa and have fresh garden produce, raspberries and strawberries....beans and corn.
What I never factor in... is maintenance. I'm a garden dreamer, I love the whole creative process. I don't factor in the hours it's going to take to keep things cultivated, planted, weeded, watered, pruned, mulched, de-bugged, de-slugged, staked, tied, sprayed, dead-headed...breathe...repeat.

The best thing about garden blogging is that you can take close-ups. The photo in this post is of the most beautiful orange tulip..she's a stunner.
What you can't see is the haze of weeds she's surrounded by, or the pieris japonica that tipped over in the wind because it wasn't staked, we'd had to dig it up and replant it... because a trash tree was growing up through it. You can't see the half/drained pond because the liner is leaking even though we pulled it out last year and couldn't find even a pin-hole in the butyl liner.
All you can see are the beautiful colors of this stunning tulip.
I have to go now...I have to go outside and weed, mulch, prune, plant, transplant, water, fertilize...and if we have time today maybe we'll drain that pond...againnnnn.


Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Shelly! Beautiful Tulip and picture. It does take a lot to keep a garden going, but sometimes the work is worth the beauty. I can also understand that there is so much to do and so little time to do it. I would love to have a fish pond, but I think with the little kitty's around here, I would lose a lot of money, keeping the pond stocked. Just take one day at a time and be proud of what you have accomplished.
By the way, I have really enjoyed you project yellow and green and project looking through. Your cat and puppy are just to cute. Hopefully your cat wouldn't teach puppy to many bad habits. Lisa

bobbie said...

Ah, but it is worth it, isn't it?
Beautiful close-up of the tulip!

Carletta said...

Hey Shelly!
It really is a stunner! I loved the title too!
You must be doing something right for it to grow this beautifully - weeds and all.
Don't work too hard - I'm tired just reading this...

Lori said...

Love that red. Very pretty! Keep those beautiful pictures coming! You have a good eye.