I have been re-reading Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations this week. I remember reading it many moons ago when I was in junior high school. As a teen, I struggled with getting into the story. Truth be told, I didn’t put much effort into reading for comprehension and enjoyment. Well, I’m thoroughly into it this time through. Though it has absolutely nothing to do with gardening, I just love the title of the book and have found myself viewing my garden through the lens of great expectations.
Nothing show-stopping happening in my garden this week, but the snow has melted and there are definitely some great expectations and emerging signs of beauty to come…and a whole lot of grunt work needed to tidy up the flowerbeds.
As I strolled through my yard this evening just before sunset, I snapped a photo of one of my garden’s great expectations: a little Japanese tree peony that is showing signs of promising growth. It’s one of those initially disappointing purchases which didn’t live up to the photo in the mailorder catalog. I actually purchased a trio of the plants. They were nothing more than $25 sticks with scraggly roots when they arrived. They didn’t thrive; actually, they didn’t survive the first year, so I took advantage of the replacement guarantee. The company honored the guarantee, replacing all three. When the second shipment arrived, I was pleased to see they had sent slightly more mature specimens. The one pictured below seems to be doing the best. I honestly have no idea how to care for and encourage this tree peony to grow. All I’m doing right now is keeping the neighborhood bunnies from eating it for breakfast (note the rabbit fencing).
I have great expectations for my daffodils and tulips this year too. The daffodils are showing some color, but not open yet. I’m hoping that more of the tulip bulbs that I planted last fall will emerge from their wintery slumber. I planted some “late” bulbs so that I could hopefully extend the tulip show…we’ll see.
I have great expectations for seeing a few of my garden tasks getting accomplished this week. This birdfeeding station on the north side of our home provides lots of winter entertainment as birds vie with squirrels for the sunflower seed (mostly) that I offer them. We can watch from the comfort of our kitchen table all year round, or from our deck on warm summer eves. One task high on my to-do list for the week is to rake out the accumulation of sunflower hulls from beneath my birdfeeders. As you can see my feathered and furry friends have been busy and have made quite a mess. I want to get this accomplished before the plants in that garden make their debut.
My next goal will be to tackle the flowerbed along the east side of our home. This bed contains a nice selection of hostas, a few daylilies, way too much lamium for my liking, one of my dad’s peonies, bleeding hearts, and such mingled in with a smattering of spirea bushes that were thrown in by the builders back in 1988. If I had the chutzpah, I’d rip all of this out and start over. I don’t, so I’ll just focus on raking the old hosta leaves away from the bulbs that are making their way toward the sunlight.
I always have great expectations for projects in the garden. The list is long and largely ignored. However, the other day I was looking out of the window and noticed this firewood log hoop in our yard. It’s currently corraling some firewood, but came up with an idea to repurpose it as a support for a couple of clematis vines. It’s seen better days, but I kinda like the rustic patina and think it would make a nice statement in the garden if it had a new identity as a trellis.
I think the resident chipmunks will be very unhappy with me if I take away this pile of wood. They love to clamor about in it and relish sitting atop the highest log just ‘chipping’ away in the loudest chippy voice possible.
Thanks for joining me and a bevy of gardeners worldwide as we join our host and fellow gardener The Propagator for another Six on Saturday. Our goal is to write about our gardens. Six things, in the garden, on a Saturday. Please join us! Click on the link to get started.