Tuesday, May 15, 2012

No Time for Yarn

I have not done any serious knitting for a month at least. I am seeding and planting my garden with Victorian plants and setting some aside to sell at the farmers' market in town.  Gardening is as soothing to me as knitting. I love to see the seedlings emerge from the potting mix and nurturing them to garden readiness is its own reward. Many of the old plants lend themselves to patterns for knitted blankets or curtains.  The ladies of the 19th century loved lace, and their favorite flowers have a lacy look and texture. The names are sentimental and romantic. I am especially fond of Love in the Mist and Cupid's Dart. Columbine requires more patience than many modern gardeners have time for.  I plant the seeds this year, protect them during the winter and get my reward the second year when they start to bloom. For my less patient friends I plant extra seeds so that they can take plants home in the spring for blossoms later in the summer. I am already collecting old nylon stockings to store the bulbs that must be lifted in the fall and replanted in the spring.  The catalogs for the fall bulbs have started to arrive and I am just now getting the last of the zinnias in their pots. The geraniums are almost ready to explode into bright red and scent the garden with lemon, chocolate, mint and other more subtle perfumes. I also try the Victorian practice of planting a new exotic or two every year to see how they do.  This year I planted toad lilies (from Japan and they do not like Indiana very much) and Mexican shell flowers. The Mexican shell flowers are doing very well and I can't wait to see what their flowers are like.  So far there is spiky green foliage and nothing else.  The Siberian irises are struggling to come to maturity and my vanilla orchid is putting out an inch of growth a day.  By this time next year I hope to have a vanilla blossom scent the greenhouse. Josephine Bonaparte was a great lover of exotic plants.  It was she who noticed how beautiful dahlia flowers were.  The plant was imported from south America for its edible roots.  If it had not been for Napoleon's empress the breeding frenzy that has produced so many beautiful varieties might never have happened.
By this time next month I hope to have my garden duties limited to cutting bouquets for the house and thinning the early plants to make room for the late summer and fall bloomers.  This fall there will be asters and chrysanthemums and moss roses in the gardens ready to pave the way for the holly berries. I am potting the seedlings from my Japanese maple tree to root and give to friends at Christmas. I can sit in the warm September and October sun, knitting needles in hand and begin the sweaters and blankets for the long winter days inside. Of course I will spend as much time as possible in the sun room. My plumeria, the citrus trees and the avocado will have finished their vacation outside and keep me company while the storms and snows decorate the sleeping garden.

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh I bet it looks great! I've successfully planted 1 Delphinium...