By Amy Cross
July 5, 2012
Today, I finally got around to dead-heading the two big hydrangeas by the garage, and as I did it I wondered WHY anyone would want a “maintenance free” garden. The maintenance is the fun! (I really don’t enjoy planting flower beds – I try to hand that off to daughter, Emily. But I love to weed, dead-head, and trim – fuss.) Doing these activities lets me really “know” the plants; I “hear” what the plants have to “say”. Now, I know that plants don’t have voices, but they can communicate. My hydrangea for example: Crispy, brown finished blooms on the front, but beautiful soft finished blooms in various antique shades in the shady parts of the plant. What is the plant saying? It doesn’t matter how much water I put on it (I water it enough to keep beautiful blooms on part of it), it just doesn’t like that much sun when it is that hot!
As I took off each finished bloom I noticed the fat leaf buds that encouraged me with promise of more blooms – these, hopefully, will be borne during cooler weather. But, oh, the fat buds! Delightful! Promise!
I really enjoyed the blooms when they were fresh – it was a cool, rainy period and they were drop-dead gorgeous! The ugly, brown, crispy blooms were depressing – making my day seem hotter and drier every time I walked by. They HAD to go! I was going to pass the job off on an employee because I was “way too busy”. I’m so glad I didn’t! Sensory delight. The shaded blooms were so soft to the touch! And the color range was so varied – dusty blue, mauve-y pink, all mixed with blue-greens and mauve-y greens and greens and brown greens. I had brought over a BIG pot to put the blooms in to take to the compost pile, but my pot soon overflowed – the ground was carpeted with pom-poms of all this soft color – hundreds of blooms! What an amazing plant! And then there were all those fat buds!
And, guess what treasure I found behind the big plants? Weeds! Imagine that! Weeds at Hilltop Farm?! But I love to pull weeds. More pleasure!
And another wonder: I had planted some English Primrose (the kind that likes it COOL) back in March. Trimming the spent hydrangea flowers revealed that one of the primroses is getting ready to flower! Wow!
All this in ten minute’s time – a mini vacation without leaving the farm. I just took a short break from my busy-ness and, such delight! A few newsletters back I sent “Ten ways to love”. One of the points was to “enjoy without complaint”. I enjoyed “maintaining”, in the heat, after a hard day’s work; without complaining. I can’t think of the last time I sooo enjoyed my flowers!
Just a thought.