Moving out of the South End to Jamaica Plain has meant that I’ve had to embrace my very shaky inner gardner. Despite killing every house plant I’ve ever owned, last year my mother and I planted a shade garden together which not only survived the summer, but also came back even better this year. This spring I knew that I wanted to install a perennial flower garden. I knew the “why” (pretty flowers!) but the “how, what, when and where” were still a little fuzzy.
Luckily my mother arrived for our now annual planting session and together we tackled a large section of our yard that had a few existing peony plants and copious amounts of insidious onion grass. I spent one exhausting day weeding the onion grass out of the bed, a few mornings gathering plants, and then tackled the flower bed this weekend with a little help from the whole family.
I should clarify that the helping included the cat getting high on cat nip and the boys spraying each other and me with water from the house relentlessly.
In and amongst the peonies we planted baptisia, butterfly weed, some adorable little mini geraniums, phlox, cat nip, bee balm, yarrow, black-eyed susans, clustered bellflowers and geum. And in the process I shredded my fingernails, weeded poison ivy without any gardening gloves on, gave blisters to my blisters, and one night drank an entire bottle of wine to dull the throbbing in my back. But honestly, the experience was so satisfying and I’ve begun to wonder why gardening scared me so much to begin with.
I fought moving out of the South End for as long as I could, but strangely am not sure I actually miss the city at all. If anything, I miss the renovated kitchen and bathrooms that we left far more than I miss the ability to walk to dinner. We’re just as active and social when we want to be, but we’ve found a lot of fulfillment in the work that comes from slowly restoring a home that needs a little TLC.
Last night as the boys were playing football with TJ after dinner, my glass of wine and I walked around and clipped some flowers from to make a bouquet for our table. For a former plant-phobic human being who swore she’d never move out of the city, it was a serene and joyous moment.
What was in my glass (an fantastic bottle of wine, perfect with our steak salad, and coming to our shelves this week!):
Do you have a perennial flower garden? I still have a little more room in mine to plant, please share your favorite plants with me!