You know those things that you see while shopping, and you can't seem to pass by without checking them out, and somehow rationalizing a purchase? For some it may be pocketbooks, shoes, or jewelry. I can usually walk by these things with just a small tug of longing. They don't bring on the quickened heart rate and middle of the gut ache when I spot my two main weaknesses - books and flowers.
As for books, it has to be a used book sale. I like a good book store as much as anyone else, but I don't go in for paying full price on a brand-new book. No, for me, it is the corner of the library with the stacks of used books, priced for a reasonable quarter or fifty cents. I have to really think hard about if I want it if it is as much as $1. I can't seem to resist going over to check out the selection, even though I know I have piles of books at home, both mine and the kids. I usually end up coming away with a new treasure or two, and I seem to always justify my purchases by reassuring myself that I am helping out the library.
As for my other weakness, I literally have to talk myself out of purchases. Spring time brings out my appetite for all things gardenly. I pore over catalogues, take long walks just to see what other people have and how they have planted it, and try to figure out how I can get the same effect. For this reason, going to San Diego was torturous! To see every single house planted with gorgeous, flamboyant, lush, spectacular gardens was both a treat for the eyes as well as an ache for my heart.
My own garden seemed so sad, so pathetic, in the face of these gardens of eden. How could I dare to post pictures of my own little irises and peonies,
knowing about the eye-popping beauty of lantanas, cannas, and hibiscus that are commonplace in other parts of the world? I admit, there was a little bit of embarrassment involved- that I would dare to think my common place garden was something worth sharing. But then I returned home, and there really is nothing I can do about my climate. I realized that I need to be thankful for what I have, and even if it isn't at the same level of beauty, my garden still warms my heart and brings me pleasure, like the simple sight of water droplets clinging to a grassy stem.
So I entered the season of planting and buying. Like I said, my weakness. It is very dangerous for me to enter a garden center or nursery this time of the year. Every flower seems to call me to it, and my mind spins, wondering where if I could find a place for it in my already bursting flower beds. It can get pretty expensive if I don't hold myself back. Fortunately, this year, I had a couple of budget friendly acquisitions. First, in early April I went to a plant exchange. I got together with a couple of friends, and we all brought some divided perennials. Everyone went home with a nice new selection of plants, and the best thing, it was free!
I also used birthday money towards some new baskets for the front porch, and I found a place that had gorgeous baskets for half the price of other nurseries.
I also couldn't resist these begonias!
Today I went on my annual trip to the nursery of all nurseries. It is a beautiful place, garden beds laid out with paths that show both sun gardens and shade gardens, a pond and vegetables. It has it all. The flowers are of excellent quality, which means they are a bit pricier. But I was able to get a couple of annuals using a birthday gift certificate, and spend some time getting ideas. I usually go once or twice a year, and it always feeds my soul.
I was reflecting on my love of growing things and gardens and it occurred to me that my parents picked out a perfect name for me. I think I was destined to be weak-kneed over a perfect blossom from the very start.