Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Flax and Follow thru and Florida Bound

Thursday, Rose will be here in the morning and we will take off for the train into the city. 
I cannot wait to spend time with an articulate gardener. At the show at Navy Pier, I will be surrounded by thousands of them!! 
No offense to neighbors and non-gardening friends, but this is the time of year that I find myself repeating the same phrases over and over. 
Cut it back. Cut it back. Cut it back.
Wait till it flowers. Wait till it flowers.
Don't cut the foliage. Please leave the foliage. WHY DID YOU CHOP OFF THE TULIP'S FOLIAGE???

In our neighborhood, most plantings are 5-6 years old and they haven't been touched since my neighbors put them in when they built the house. Spirea are reaching the middle of windows, (why spirea are planted as foundation plants, I will never know....), and the perennials are flopping over, begging to be divided.
Does this happen to you?
The neighbors ask you over and have you walk around the yard. They begin asking your advice on this and that, why my grass isn't thick like yours and what should I do with this thicket of pampas grass that I planted in front of the window???
I give my honest opinion, cut this back, move this, when the forsythia flowers, apply $100. worth of crabgrass prevention.
But they never do any of it. I found myself walking another neighbor's yard yesterday, telling her to cut the Knock-outs down to 6" and apply a fertilizer. It is the same thing I told her last year. She didn't do it then and she won't do it now.
In August, she will come down again, her rose bushes devastated by beetles and heat and lack of feed, she will beg me for answers.
Like anything else, I honestly believe success in gardening is dependent on the follow thru. Thinking about winter sowing is one thing. Making a list, purchasing seed, stockpiling soda containers and soil less mix is another thing.
But actually scooping the mix into containers, planting the seeds and getting the containers outside behind the junipers, in January, is the follow thru.

I'm not perfect by any means. Certainly, I have been guilty of being a big talker, proclaiming all the big things I am going to tackle.
But I have red and blue flax sprouting in winter sowing containers behind the junipers. Along with English Daisy and several other perennials.
It still remains to be seen if I can continue to keep the containers watered and remember to open their lids in the morning and close them at night. That is the follow thru, my friends!!

After a long and exhaustive and expensive search, the Darling has decided on her college. She will play volleyball for Florida Tech. In my wildest dreams, I had never imagined she would play volleyball in college. But it was always in my plan for her to lead us back to the southeast.
I would like to thank you all for all your kind wishes. This summer will be a difficult one, The Boy has taken a position in Richmond, VA, leaving for Europe immediately after graduation and then on to Virginia, and the Darling will leave us in August for her college career.
That will leave the Hubs and I alone with Gracie the Yorkie.
I'd better stock up on waterproof mascara. I have a feeling I'm gonna need it.....


  1. Anonymous11:04 PM

    Sissy, to answer your question left on my blog..there are a lot of people who are not living authentic..meaning, they do not live within there means..and try to keep up with the Jones...even since the recession I still hear people moaning and groaning how they can't have this or that but so and so does...Do they really know themselves? your right that is the question...maybe they love being miserable and don't realize they can scale down and live happier...


  2. I know what you are saying about neighbors. The ones that put something in do nothing after that. Have the same thing here.

    It's hard when the last child leaves home and then with yours so far away, it's even harder. Try to enjoy your trip though.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. Sounds like you've been really busy. Enjoy your trip. You must be really proud of both your children but it is incredibly hard to see them go. All the best, Jx

  4. Nah, the tears will flow briefly when the kids go, but very quickly you will realize you raised independent successful adults, and you have SO MUCH TIME to yourself. You will be surprised how liberating and good it feels.

    Mine are now in LA and Denver and I miss them terribly and think about them every day, but I don't want to give up the life my husband and I have now on our own.

    About the neighbors --- ha! I despair here too.

  5. It will be hard Sissy to see the birds leave the nest. Tissues will be needed for certain. Enjoy your trip!

  6. Congratulations to your Daughter--how exciting! But I'm sure you're all relieved to have the decision behind you so that you can move on with the rest of your life--and Daughter can enjoy these last few months of high school. Yes, being an empty nester will take some adjustment, especially at first, but it's also fun to finally have some real "me" time.

    You asked about my not mentioning being a Cubs' fan in my last post--I'm still so bummed over Coach Weber's firing last week that I can't think about sports at all right now:(

    Enjoy your trip to the show; I know you'll love it. My friend and I are headed instead to Indy's show this morning; otherwise, we might have met up today!

  7. Sissy,
    Enjoy your trip. I will be looking forward to the photos!

  8. I find that's the problem with a lot of people, they want to know how to maintain their flowers and/or veggie gardens but they never follow through on it and then they whine that nothing came up like it should have! Believe me, we have the same type of neighbours! lol

    It's never easy to see your children fly the nest but you do get used to it eventually and then realize that you are free to do whatever you want to do or go anywhere you want to go, you have no more children to be responsible for:-) You've done the best you can in their upbringing and now it's time for them to make their own lives. Congratulations to your daughter on her choice of college:-) xoxo

  9. I have tried to pass on a few gardening tips to. A garden requires attention, but the rewards are great. And yes,you will need waterproof mascara at first, but eventually you get used to it, you begin to enjoy it and your life too will fill with new things...including your kids. Life is good...don't worry.

  10. It's just the start of a new chapter. Use your garden as a means of coping, healing, learning, creating, and living.

  11. Luckily for me, the neighboring town has Oregon State University so my kids haven't ventured too far from home yet. It would be so hard though and my heart goes out to you. Cheers.

  12. I wouldn't even bother with the mascara the first year. Easier on the lashes when you wipe the tears away not to have any junk on them. What an adventure for both of your kids, and two places to visit in the winter. Florida.....we know how you hate snow. You got off easy this winter woman, so now you can look forward to vball season in the sun. AND when you give advice, I am going to follow thru!!!!

  13. Hi! That was interesting about the Knock Outs. We do cut ours back but not to 6 inches so guess we don't do it far enough. If you cut them back that far, what do cut those tough fat branches with? I just started a garden blog and would love to have you take a peek. We have been empty nesters for quite awhile and love it. It is nice to have the kids and grands visit tho. Hope you will enjoy this next phase of your life too. Nancy http://cozythymecottage.blogspot.com/

  14. Hope all is well! Miss your posts. Did you have a good trip?


  15. Hi! After so long a time! Anyway, I think no one does the work because they want something for nothing. Low maintance garden ... Ha! you have to work for a beautiful garden (or pay someone else to work)!


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