Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Breaking Promises to Myself

I'm breaking promises to myself, again. Somehow, the plants always seem to lead me astray. Didn't I promise myself: "No new plants until I take care of the ones I have"? I was so earnest. No new plants until the Kitchen Garden was established. All my gardening energy was to focus on that project. And of course, there is the Berry Patch to get in order, and the Cottage Garden to fine tune, and the little trees and bushes from last spring and fall in the Woodlot that need weeding and mulching.

I was doing really good until about three weeks ago. I had been working diligently on the Berry Patch. The work toward the Kitchen Garden was at a standstill for the time, and I really wanted to get the Berry Patch squared off and mulched to make Love's mowing work easier. And that project was coming along very nicely. Landscape fabric was laid and mulched with pine straw around the blueberries, straw around the blackberries and blueberries. The grape vine was pruned to the single stem the berry books advocate for the first year. Posts were driven at four corners of the raspberry bushes and twine installed to keep them corraled. And then a small hole formed in the dike -- I realized that I had never replaced the blueberry bush I ripped out last year after five years of pitiful production. I began to haunt local nurseries, looking for the perfect blueberry bush. I didn't find it.

The hole began to grow. As I worked in the raspberries and strawberries, I began to think about the golden raspberries Skye's best friend had described to me two summers ago. Her aunt's golden raspberries, she declared, were the most wonderful things she had ever eaten. This remark tossed off by a 9-year-old had stayed with me. Then a catalog arrived from Miller's Nursery, advertising a FRUIT SALE. They had great prices on blueberry bushes, and they also featured a golden raspberry called 'Fall Gold.' I was lost. I suddenly had to have golden raspberries. I searched the web for information about golden raspberries recommended for the Ozarks, but found nothing. I called the county extension service (yes, I really do that), and the Master Gardener on duty recommended 'Kiwi Gold.' I decided to look for a local berry plant supplier, and found on a few miles away that carried 'Anne.' The dike burst. I ordered six plants. And six Heritage raspberries. And an Ozark Blue blueberry.

The flood continues. Sunday I ordered a peony to be delivered in October. Today I accepted two irises, a daisy, orange chocolate mint, and a sage new to my garden. So much for no new plants. If it's any consolation, I have given away more plants than I've taken in this spring, so maybe, just maybe, I'll keep my head above water.

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