This year, we came up with the idea of buying flowers for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day - but not the kind that get delivered in a vase. I know she'd have enjoyed them a whole lot, but she had been talking about how she never gets around to fixing up her front garden. So, she and I went flower-shopping on Saturday to choose some plants for her garden, and we headed back to her place so I could do the dirty work and get them planted. When we got back, she found a box of flowers on her step, a pretty bunch of tulips sent by my brother-in-law and his wife, so I guess it's good we didn't do the same thing and look like copycats. They were really pretty, though, and I'm a little jealous - my tulips are all done and I have none left to bring inside for my table!
We tried to find a plant nursery my neighbor told me about, called "Ten Oaks", but when we finally saw the sign for it, we were blocked entry by a chained-off driveway and some construction equipment. So we took a scenic drive and ended up at a great little plant-and-produce place called Frank's - right near my usual shopping area, and I'd never known about it! They had half a dozen large greenhouses full of annuals, perennials, and vegetables, and their selection was huge. We had to get a wagon to hold everything we bought!
I was amused at how we have different favorites - she wanted dahlias and begonias and verbena (all annuals) and I was attacking the perennials section to find stuff I could plant and forget about. I managed to talk her into a perennial Dianthus and I hope she's happy with it! As is usual with my mother-in-law shopping trips, I found more for myself than for her, but that's ok. We laugh about it - if we go to the mall so I can help her find a dress, I leave with full shopping bags, but if we go shopping for me, I never find a thing.
As I build my garden, I seem to be choosing many of the same plants my mother had in her garden when I was growing up. I saw a beautiful "silver mound", and just had to have it. Because I like it, or because Mom had one? Not sure, but it's living behind the Rabbit Crossing sign now. I also bought some white Echinacea, some yellow Oenothera (evening primrose) and a yellow daylily. Oh, and a sage plant, and two Gaillardia (blanket flower), and some brilliant red verbena to fill in the gaps. I'll take some pictures when everything settles in, but this is how it looked at the end of the day:
I'm surprised at how much fun I'm having with the garden, since I loathe being dirty and I am terrified of bugs. I was on my knees in the dirt, digging holes for these plants, and had a short moment of not quite recognizing myself. But maybe it's genetic and inevitable and I'm just falling into my role in the world. Who knows. At least my backyard is starting to look good.