May 2-4 week-end is a three-day week-end surrounding Queen Victoria’s birthday. 2-4 refers to the May 24th birthday of the Queen, as well as a case of 24 bottles of beer. Fireworks and drinking are known ways to celebrate the Queen’s birthday and to kick off the start of summer camping.
May 2-4 week-end is also regarded as the start of the gardening season. Garden centres are crowded with gardeners overflowing their carts with annuals, perennials and potting soil. It can get down-right chaotic in the line-up for the cash register. Gardeners grow impatient easily. They want to get their new plants in the ground and don’t tolerate waiting well.
I visited a favourite garden centre earlier this week to avoid the week-end rush. As well as to have a head-start on planting. The sooner you buy plants, the sooner you get to play in the dirt!
I felt like a child in a toy store. I wanted everything. Mind you, even if money wasn’t an issue, there wouldn’t be space in the garden to experiment with each plant that enticed me. So, I check out the plants and review mentally how a plant would fit—colour-wise and per its sun and soil requirements—into my gardens.
Even with that approach, I often purchase too many plants and seeds. I stumbled across an old candy tin stuffed with seeds I picked up at stores or garage sales. So many seeds, so little space!
This year, I selected a King Tut grass like I did a couple of years ago. I tried a corkscrew grass instead last year but it didn’t perform to my expectations. One chance! Don’t perform and you don’t make the cut next year!
I also purchased a unique hanging basket for my Mom for a late Mother’s Day gift.
It’s complicated. I planned on buying Mom mulch per her request but two sisters beat me to the punch. I told Mom the flowers resembled sunflowers so she could look at them and think of me. Everyone who knows me knows I love sunflowers.
Okay, so I bought myself the same basket as well. I saved two dollars if I bought two instead of one. This is dangerous logic which is often practiced when shopping for plants.
I perused many colourful, distinctive plants but I found myself drawn back to the petunias. Why? Petunias have been a staple of gardeners forever. Nothing new there. Why would I buy them?
For sentimental reasons, that’s why! Last summer—Dad’s last summer—my father requested pink petunias to fill a bare spot in the front yard. It was a little late in the season and I remember visiting three different centres before I could find pink petunias. Dad was 94. He could sit on the front porch and admire them. Until a rabbit came along and ate all the flowers off most of the plants. And three entire plants!
When Dad asked if I could replace them, I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But, I found the last three pink petunias at the same garden centre. I planted them, sprinkled them all with chili powder and they were off the menu for the bunny. Apparently, the bunny did not like spicy food.
I now checked out the pink petunias at the garden centre. I knew the wave petunias would be superior but they weren’t available in a similar pink colour that Dad enjoyed last year. I discovered the right shade among the plain petunias. I bought three cell-packs of four. I knew exactly where I was going to plant them, too. Not an impulse purchase.
Arriving home, I put the petunias into three planters under the watchful eye of my dog, Sophie. I have a corner lot with plenty of flower beds in the back yard, front yard and the side of the yard. But, that’s not where they were to be planted. The three planters have the choice location of the front steps.
That way, I’ll see them several times a day. I’ll remember Dad. I count myself blessed to have had him on the earth for 56 of my 57 years. He was a good man. A gentle soul. And a gardener!
On the porch, at the top of the steps is a Mother’s day plant I received from my youngest daughter, Giselle and her fiancé. I tucked a little gnome into it because Giselle collects gnomes.
And, I tucked in two small pinwheels to remind me of my Mom.
Mom loves pinwheels. For her 90th birthday, I lined my sidewalk with them and displayed them in the backyard for her party. They’ve survived the winter elements and are still spinning.
Sentimental gardening. My choice of flowers don’t match the other plants picture-perfect like in magazines. But, they stand out in my heart. Pink petunias, gnomes and pinwheels. You can’t go wrong!