Until this year.
Last year I had a row of boxwood shrubs taken up from the front of my house. They were 18 years old, woody and UGLY. Plus one had already gone to shrub heaven and ...well, it just didn't look good.
Once they were gone, I enlisted the aide of my BFF who, like a columbine seeking shade, knows her way around a landscape. She is to gardens what Julia Child was to French cookery. She thought and she suggested and together we went out to purchase just the right beginner plants/shrubs.
Most everything survived their first year under my care: The lilacs, the azaeleas, the barberry and the Japanese Heller holly. The lirope and the spira variety called "Lil Henry". The Japanese holly struggled the most and when I asked my BFF her advice she asked "Have you been deep watering"? "Is that anything like deep POV?" I asked.
She gave me A Look.
Um. "Doesn't the water I pour at the bottom take care of watering?"
"No. You use your hose to get to the collateral root system."
"What hose?" I asked.
It took me 10 minutes to revive her.
Fortunately, (or maybe my friend did a survival dance to the garden gods) my shrubs and things survived to this spring. And OMG....they are beautiful! Flowering lilacs, pink and purple azaelas, knockout rosebushes in varying shades of pink. I've accented with purple petunias and white begonias and filled my porch pots with three colors of geraniums and pink hibiscus.
It's beautiful if I do say so myself. It's ignited a desire to do more and learn more. Oh, I'll never get the artistry of borders and formal gardens though I long to have the natural groupings of flowers like they have in Ireland (I think in Ireland the land just calls to the different varieties and they plant themselves :-). It's taken a lot of restraint on my part not to plant my whole YARD in flowers.
All this horticultural revelation got me to thinking about The Lair, the Banditas and the BB's. We all bring our own special and unique beauty to the garden of this community. Every flower has a meaning or correlation to some attribute. Here are some of the ones I've thought about:
This flowering shrub is a symbol of perseverance. Now this attribute can be attributed to ALL of us but I thought of Suz when I was looking it up. Beautiful and strong and determined, she took a step outside the box with Lacy Morgan and has gotten the attention of contests, agents and editors.
Reminds me of Kristen. It means beautiful spirit and hers certainly shines through in all she says and does. (Even her very first headstand with her yoga)
Geranium, the comfort flower.
Jo or JoMama as we call her. She's always there with an encouraging word, a hug and a pat on the back. And the occasional "don't mess with my Bandita" fervor that helps kick the doldrums right out of ya.
The shy flower. I matched this one up with Susan. Despite her cool rapper name (Smoov) she professes to be the shy one among us. (Psst...I'm not totally sold on that. We'll see in the bar in DC in July)
The ambition flower. This one is our own Kate. Quiet, demure, yet exotic and beautiful this Bandita is on her way. Featured in her NYT debut book, HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER Kate is soaring to the top in more ways than one.
And then there is me. Now, my favorite overall flower is the tulip but I have been called spirited before so the flower that symbolizes that characteristic is the Freesia.
The Pink Rose. Friendship. Our BB's and our lurkers, our guests and our new visitors. Here's a pink rose for each and everyone of you!
Demetrius has just spread a blanket on the soft, green grass. Have a seat, enjoy the picnic basket Marcus brought and sip a cabana boy....er, I mean some wine and contemplate the garden of The Lair. What other flowers do you see? Which Bandita do they represent? Why? What type of flower would you be and where would you be planted? What is attracted to you? Bees? Butterflies? Sven?