Spring has arrived in all its flamboyant glory. Green things have begun to pop their heads from out their beds. It is a time of excitement and a wee bit of trepidation for northern gardeners. Did the perennials I planted last year make it through the harsh winter? Will the new little saplings grow or did they reject the earth I put them in? On weekends like this, I’d love to be an Earth Mage.
Colorado had an early, bitter frost last fall. It took three of my evergreen shrubs. I’m still waiting on pins and needles to see if my first year poppies and columbines made it. Alas, the lavender garden I planted last year may be another innocent victim of frost kill and my own stupidity.
Who doesn’t love lavender? It’s beautiful, attracts butterflies and bees, and you can make your own yummy smelly stuff with it. I planted a circle of pink English Lavender (shown in the left picture above) and purple French Lavender as borders. It did really well in the hot sun. My blooms were beautiful.
Had I been an Earth Mage, I would have walked through the logic and understood Lavender is a native of temperate climates. It loves hot sun. Winter chill is its Kryptonite. I would have used my mad mage skills to plant this garden in a place it would have received tons of sun and been protected from Mr. Winter. Case in point – Look at the picture above on the right side. This is an old growth French Lavender bush I slapped in the ground years ago. It gets several hours of full sun and is close to the warm walls of my house. This thing cannot die. It has been dug up several times by my dog and is regularly a kitty bed. While it looks dead this time of year, you can just make out a few sprigs of new growth. It will eventually spread to the whole plant.
Surprises I cannot explain:
Here is a reoccurring “What?” surprise I have each Spring. A few years back, I threw an old packet of German Chamomile seeds into a dumpy looking planter. While I am surprised it grew at all, the real miracle is it comes back each year. What’s the big deal? German Chamomile is not a perennial! These plants are reseeding themselves within the planter. They come back stronger every year. I’d love to have these tiny white flowers growing along the fence. I’ve tried to re-create this in my large herb garden, but the Chamomile won’t have any of it. If I were an Earth Mage, maybe I could reason with it?
I’ve had a wonderful new surprise this year in the garden. The Tarragon I left for dead is coming back in a big way. Yep – It’s perennial, so I should have expected it. However, it’s where I planted it that’s so stunning. I’ll tell you I’ve tried to plant Tarragon for several years and it didn’t like any place I put it. Finally, I tried the blue pot at the corner of the garden shed. Quite often it is covered in the shadows of my giant Russian Sage. Well, I guess the Tarragon made friends with the Sage. It came back and I’ve already snagged a couple of licorice flavored leaves. Perhaps if I were an Earth Mage, I would have understood plant relationships can be like human ones. Some fit well together and get along nicely. Others seek to overtake and destroy.
I wish I was an Earth Mage, but I’m not. Like most gardeners, I have to use trial and error. I’m at nature’s whim and must prepare as best I can for her fury. While she does bring death and loss, she also brings great abundance. I’m grateful for her generosity. Seriously though – If anyone knows a good Earth Mage, let me know.