Every year there comes a spectacular morning when, suddenly, spring arrives in mrpeene’s yard. It’s not a matter of sweet little blossoms peeping out, or the scrubbed blue sky after a big storm, or even the fucking weeds so lush they look like a cash crop, although all of that is part of it. Simply one day I get up, look out the back windows and there it is, tah dah, spring. In 2010, let us record that that day was March 11. Yeah, I know, the Ides.
Here’s what we got as of today:
Today my plans include a trip to the grooviest nursery on the planet, Flowercraft. Why are they so groovy, pray mreenee? Darlings, please. Most nurseries used to be nothing more than racks of plants with big bags of fertilizer around the edges. Then the evil marketing overlords realized if they made pretty little arrangements of their stock when it was at it flowering peak, dazed gardener suckers (that would be me) would be powerless to withstand the allure of a candy-striped camellia in full bloom and wind up dropping significant, unplanned wads of the moolah.
Flowercraft is as guilty of this as any other nursery. What I love about them is that after the plants on display have peaked, they haul them off around back to a Half-Price section, the very notion of which delights me, the conjunction of my love for thrift stores and gardening in one place.
My whole yard is filled with the once bedraggled leftovers I rescued from back there. Almost all of them have thrived and rewarded my stingy nature with sort of excessive beauty. For example:
Part of the thrill of discount gardening is the mystery in it. Since I buy things after they’ve stopped blooming I usually have no idea what color and form I’m getting. That cherry pink hydrangea, for one, was a complete surprise.
Anyway, this weekend, besides working half-price land, I’m on the trail of a Chinese wisteria.
Ever since I was a tiny faglette, I’ve adored wisteria. Along the Gulf Coast, their blooming is long and exuberant, with a heavenly scent and, let’s not forget, purple. One of the first purchases I made for the garden here was one. The next spring, after I had already had a trellis built for it, imagine my surprise at discovering it was a white one. Alba. I tried to hide my disappointment from it; after all, it couldn’t help its color, but I think it could tell. It never thrived, punked along for a few years and now is a decorative stick.
This time, I’m throwing caution to the winds and springing for one in bloom. A call just now to Flowercraft assures me they have some in stock. And the best part? It’s called “Texas Purple,” a salute to my Lone Star childhood. Yeehah, bitches.