But, until I actually get around to planning a reptilian vacation, I'm dragging hoses. And hoses are the work of the devil! Evil, terrible products. Horrendous inventions from the very beginning.
If you insist on traipsing around in the hollers of Virginia like Lewis and Clark, out there randomly meandering about along with all the various drug runners, moonshiners, and village psychopaths. Making yourself subject to the mood, hunger, and whims of every snake, spider, bear, and cougar loose in the woods. Completely vulnerable to things like quicksand, booby traps, landmines, and God knows whatever else, then at least be smart. Bring a teenage girl with you! Which, in fact, is what Lewis and Clark did. They knew.
This won't be one of those cutesy, fawning posts that all the shiny, happy cool kids seem to be writing on Facebook and in blogs all over the Western world. And don’t expect any facts either--just observations. My observations, and, yes, I fully admit that I'm nothing more than a very tired and intellectually lazy horticulturist who is living under a dome of cicadas for the fourth time.
You’ll prize the rarity of bloom. Look forward to seedlings from those that drop dead. You’ll have fewer seizures in a garden with less variegated plants. And you’ll take pride in living long enough to enjoy the slow grower that has finally achieved some size.
Usually March around here is pretty dire. It is when the novelty of the outside air being so cold you can freeze water in it has long lost its charm and when the utter lack of any color outside becomes unbearable. Invariably, it’s the time of year when anything in the garden that might have once promised “winter interest” can only still be identified by means of dental records.
Yes, gardening certainly has its moments of pleasure, but it takes time and effort before those pleasures grow from an intermittent trickle to a steady flow. Keep at it. Enjoy the process all along the way. Sooner or later, your garden will reach that critical mass when it surrounds you like a warm embrace.
January 27, 2021 Cincinnati, Ohio Dear Marianne, It was a great relief to receive your most recent letter. I was a bit worried my previous letter to you might have [...]
Allan Armitage has been at the center of perennials for over fifty years. He is tireless, passionate, knowledgeable, affable, well-liked, been everywhere, knows everyone, and, between his academic career, speaking schedule, and writing, no one else is anywhere as uniquely positioned to be the black hole of the perennial universe.