Hellooo my radishes! How does your garden grow? They say 2020 is the Year of the Yard, or the Balcony, or the Window Box, if that’s all you have. If we can’t travel to the fertile fields, then they must come to us, and people sure have been planting, if the empty shelves at the local nursery are anything to judge by. Even if all you have is the aspidistra your Great Aunt Hilda left you, it’s good to have a living thing to care for.


I come from a long line of green thumbs, but alas, I don’t have one myself. My grandmother, whose name was actually Flore, could and did grow everything: flowers, vegetables, anything that took root would flourish under her care. She passed that on to my mother, who loves flowers so much I’m surprised she didn’t name her daughters Rose, Daisy and Zinnia. I took my mother to Canada Blooms a few years ago, and she stood panting at the entrance saying she was so excited  she had heart palpitations (did I mention she’s a bit of a drama queen)?


I also love gardening, but it doesn’t love me back. Our property is heavily treed, and, as such, we don’t get enough sunlight to grow anything floriferous. Oh, and the dogs. Asta, in her blindness, mows down entire shrubs on her way to the bathroom. We have a boxwood hedge that Dewey loves to use as a backscratcher. You can have dogs, and you can have nice things, but rarely both.


Caught red handed


The cottage is another challenge entirely. Built on Canadian Shield as it is, there just isn’t enough earth to cultivate, not to mention the harsh winters, the hungry wildlife, and the fact that we’re not there 9 months of the year. It amazes me that the pines and hemlocks can grow to be 100 feet, clinging to nothing but seemingly bare rock, whereas I can’t coax a potted geranium to last through the summer. I did up our pots last weekend, as I do every year, with great expectations, mixing perennials and annuals, salvia, coleus, tuberous begonias and Shasta daisies. Yes, I know the names of most common garden plants. I figure you’re morally bound to know a living thing’s name before you kill it. I also took a stab at clearing out the stands of bee balm that have managed to survive up there, until I was chased inside by a cloud of black flies.


Birds and bees: 1, Mo: 0


Happy gardening!



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