Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Gardener's Lifetime

Gardening, by nature isn't known for dealing out a lot of instant gratification (well, maybe trays of pansies from Walmart might be an exception). There are even some things in the garden that require almost a lifetime's work: take my dream of a hillside covered with Adonis amurensis. These little fern-like, very early spring ephemerals with their brass button-bright golden flowers are, at least in our climate, achingly slow to establish themselves and spread. There are just not enough springs left in my future to ever see huge patches of these; In our garden now I only have a few small clumps tucked in here and there (which are just now opening their cheerful, clear-eyed flowers to the warming sun). This isn't a plant that you just go out and order a hundred of; White Flower Farm I see is offering it in a three inch pot for ... cough, cough... $24.95. Oh well, at least a few years ago I suddenly realized the clock is ticking and got a dozen new magnolias planted, and can expect to see a first flower or two any decade now. I can just hear my funeral oration: "... and if he had just lived another two days he'd have seen all his magnolias in full, glorious bloom".
Maybe I'll go buy some of those tree fertilizer spikes
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What a sunny little bloom! Lovely.
Epitahs already? Far too early for you,Don. I see a shovel and wheelbarrow in your future for many springs to come.

I don't know if my family will honor my last request. I want to be cremated, laminated & placed in my garden. Give me sun until the last of my being dissolves away....
Very cute post .. I'm taking the ash ? trip too .. but heck .. we are gardeners .. we stick around a long time .. so you are going to see those flowers !
Don, all that gardening work should keep you strong for years to come. I hope you're enjoying your little yellow flowers. They are beautiful and expensive. Kudos on the Magnolias. I love them.~~Dee
Hello! I'm Seonghee, a newcomer to Iowa from Korea, one of the subscribers of your blog, hoping to have a little garden of my own soon. I enjoy your blog very much and finally leave some lines today. Thank you for great pictures and stories!

By the way, this Adonis is one of native plants in Korea and we call it 'BokSuCho', which means hapiness and longevity. I'm sure you'll enjoy the blessing of Adonis. ;)
Any true gardener has to be an optimist (even just a little bit). Why else do we plant things that we know will never come into their full glory in our lifetimes. (Planted any White or Burr Oaks recently?) We don't worry about the future beyond the 7-day forecast, trusting that someone, someday, will appreciate these trees and wonder who planted them. Dang, now you got me all maudlin!
Usually fall is the time to get that melancholic, but I understand what you mean. In my old garden I used to grow almost everything from seeds or cutlings or got the small trees and shrubs. However, I've changed that not only because now I can afford to pay for the bigger plants, but also because it simply takes so long to see them grow and finally experience the image that was meant to be created in the first place.
Enjoy spring, and let the undertaker wait. ;)
Nancy... it is indeed just like a little sunbeam on the ground1

Wanda... it'll save on fertilizer.

Joy... I'm also going that route (someday).

Dee... I have some miles left.

Seonghee... thanks for the information; I'm going to post tomorrow about another Korean native from Cheju Island.

MMD... I just planted a white oak in the nature preserve I manage.

Cotinna... I don't think much about it, but I am at that point in life where you really sometimes wonder just how many more springs you DO have.

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Thanks Don, for a great read! Blogging has not been in my schedule for a month or so, yours was the first blog I visited, I have been reading for an hour, of course after clicking on your March posts I read the entire month and realized at the end I had read Mar of 05 so then went and read Mar 08....lol, now I am off to read Mar 07 and 06, what the heck, it is timely reading!

Just knowing that Adois means happiness and longevity was worth the read! How lovely! I wish all garden bloggers Adois! I know I find peace and harmony in my garden now I need the name of the plant that has that meaning, I think they all do.
IGW... nice to hear from you, as always!
Oh well, so maybe that's why half my plants rarely blossom, i'm such a pessimist.

University Place florist
I want to be ground into meal and fed to my wife's roses. But that's just me, and I can't find a funeral home that will do this service for me.

I do know the meat-cutter at Publix, though...
Brian... Sniff... that's so sentimental!
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