Within the past few days, a couple of questions have been answered regarding my own little piece of nature. (OK, our suburban-subdivision plot of it. Humor me.)
First, my beautiful fox tail fern is even foxier now than it was when I brought it inside in October. I completely doubted that it would winter well, knowing my track record with ferns. But the weeks passed and I waited for it to brown and shed. It never did! So I’ve returned it to its summer home on our front, covered porch.
Second, for a few weeks now, I’ve watched our backyard ash tree with interest. Brian was sure it was dead. I hoped it wasn’t – but had my doubts given all I’ve heard about the ash borer that is killing these beautiful trees right and left. I’m happy to report that the ash is alive. The borer may get it—but for today, it is finally leafing out.
Third, today I picked up my secret weapon of the plant world. It’s a bridal veil plant. The basket containing it rests nicely on the elevated plant stand that sits next to our front door, giving it the look of a topiary. Bridal veils are a bit hard to find around here, but a particular local market always carries them in the spring.
Evidently I’m not the only one wielding this favorite find. “Are you the one I was supposed to call when these came in?” the market owner asked when I reached the check-out. “Nope, but I love these. I get one every spring.”
Another clerk added that they had already sold out the first shipment of these and that a new one had come in today. Guess I stopped by at the right time.
These plants are large, will get larger, and they require nothing of me other than a drink of water every few days. If they are thirsty, they have a delightful way of telling me: They bloom small white flowers! The plants love that particular spot (shady all day until late-afternoon and early-evening sunshine). And because it’s a sturdy thing, and under a covered porch, it won’t give up the ghost until I’m ready to put out the Christmas decorations.
Soon I’ll pick up some Boston ferns for hanging on the back porch, and a few geraniums to tuck in the dirt under the bridal veil. I used to get red-geranium hanging baskets and while they are my preference, they turned out to need a lot more care than the ferns, including daily watering in the heat of the summer.
This promises to be a particularly busy summer with a new book soon to come out and other fun summer activities on the docket along with my newspaper work so I’m going with the more forgiving ferns. (They are forgiving outside, but not so much inside).
That’s about all I’ll get done in the flora-and-fauna department this summer. But it’s enough for me, for now, in this season of life. My mother always cautioned not to plant flowers until Mother’s Day. I’ve heard May 1 or May 10 as other standards. Sounds about right.
What are you planting in this season of YOUR life?