Planting pansies

>> Saturday, March 17, 2007

This has become one of my most anticipated Spring 'chores'. It has been, the last two years, my first trip to the nursery after the long winter months. I go, ostensibly, to purchase Pansies. But the real reason is to be able to walk among all of the beautiful greenery and colorful flowers that provide the proof I need that Spring has indeed arrived. Nothing rejuvenates me more. I think my wife is in on this little guilty pleasure of mine because she lets me go by myself so I am not 'pressured' with the need to hurry. I get lost in all of the choices of everything there is to offer. I haven't yet ventured into anything other than Pansies but I am certain that, in the future, after all of my plots are finally up to snuff and able to provide the support these plants need, I will be tempted to bring home something I had not gone to the nursery planning to buy.

Oh happy day when I can finally place that crabapple tree and the crepe myrtle I have been eying. The Hydrangea will certainly be one of the first shrubs to go into the perfect spot I have picked out for the perennial bed in the back yard next to the deck.

For now I have to be satisfied with the few beds that are already growing plants.

You see, I have been building up three perennial beds in the back yard and two in the front yard for two years (2007 is the third year) and have a few plants here and there as 'testers'. Sort of the 'canary in the coal mine' if you will.

I'm not sure if I have put enough compost into these plots to over come the clay. I have been frightened by the horror stories of how water-logged clay soil kills plants. I have been keeping careful records of how much compost I have added to these plots to combat the clay and if these plants survive then I will feel more confident in buying more expensive plants.

Last winter I bit the bullet and bought a starter Butterfly garden from Bluestone Perennials. Every plant I have purchased from them in the past has survived and arrived looking healthy enough that I feel confident I can plant the 51 plants that will arrive next month.

I must admit that I am a bit apprehensive and nervous about having to put that many plants in at one time, but I have at least gotten to the point to where I believe I have a reasonable chance to make it work.

The soil was really easy to dig in this Spring in the few plots I have been building up so I added a little more just to be certain.

So, with Pansies and trowel at the ready, I come home to plant that one perfect 'welcome mat' to what will most assuredly be the best gardening season ever.


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