Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spring Fling

I was supposed to post on Friday, but had to work and was finishing up on a novella an editor at Red Sage had asked for a full on, and trying to get some sleep before heading out. Yesterday, was a wash. After working all night, I was one tired pup, so I slept for a while and then had to go grocery shopping since Old Mother Hubbard had switched cabinets on me in my sleep. So, now here I am, two days late and wondering what in the heck I'm going to write about that has anything to do with spring.

Personally, I love spring. Fall is my favorite season, but there is something so promising and invigorating about springtime. Spring is that one season, that if you had to place a virtue on it, it would be "Hope." All is new and shiny. Flowers bloom and grass turns green. Little nubbins of leaves appear on the trees. We have three Red Maples in our yard, and seeing them come to life and their deep crimson leaves open is so beautiful. We also have an azelea that is more the size of a tree than a bush. It's taller than the house and sits right outside my office window. When it's in full bloom, the big fuzzy bubble bees are all over it, as are the hummingbirds. Gorgeous!

Every year I promise myself I'm actually going to get off my duffer and plant flowers. Every year I don't. This year, I think I'm going to get myself to a garden center and find something to put down in the flower beds that have stood empty at the front of the house since we moved here 7 years ago. Since most of my time is spent in the pursuit of publishing, most other activities have gone by the wayside. However, if I stretch my imagination I can probably justify the gardening as research.

In my novel, Trail of Stars, Kory-Lynn Selkirk, works in the biofarm unit of a spaceship. I hesitated taking the character in that direction, because I have even less knowledge of planting and farming than I do of intersteller travel. Now that's bad. However, I do know plenty of people that do have wonderous gardens that I can pick brains for...but it's not the same as getting one's hands dirty and doing the gardening yourself. Truth is...I used to love to play in the dirt as a child. I spent entire summers submerged in dirt and mud just for the simple fact that it was nice and cool on a hot summer day.

But what to plant? I would love to have lilacs and honeysuckle but I think that is a bigger project than I'm willing to take on at this time. I need baby steps. When we lived in Florida, my father, (who was the world's greatest green thumb) planted moss roses in the front yard. They seemed to need very little in the way of upkeep and thrived. The question is, do they grow well in shade? My front yard is extremely shady, where my back yard is in almost complete sunlight. I think I want to concentrate on the front yard for now, since that is what people see when they first come over. It's like going out in public without makeup on. (The only time I do that is when I'm going to the gym. Otherwise....ugh...never.)

So, any suggestions for flowers that I can plant that are good in shade and low maintenance? Because unlike my WIP's, I doubt the flowers will get as much attention.


1 comment:

Lynda K. Scott said...

Kat, I'd go for the lilac. It's a shrub, easy to care for and once you've put it in the ground, basically you're done except for occasional pruning and fertilizing.

For flowers, try impatiens (the plain variety-not the New Zealand which is spectacular but, imo, better for a hanging basket) and dusty millers. They're both easy to care for and look great all summer long. The dusty miller has the advantage of coming back the next year if you cut it back in the fall.

Great post on Spring! It makes me want to start my garden NOW (I won't though because we could still have snow and freezing temperatures). Have fun!