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Dreaming of the Garden

While we still haven’t seen any real snow, it is bitter cold here in Maryland.  Too cold for little old me to venture out into the garden, so I think I will pull out the newly arrived garden catalogs and start dreaming (er, I mean planning) for spring.

A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to put in the bones for my dream garden, roughly based on a combination of the garden from the movie practical magic, and one featured in the book Down to Earth Gardener by Suzy Bales.  It is surrounded by a picket fence and divided in half by a pergola.  There are three entrances to the garden – one on the west side which currently features a vintage gate painted a wonderful shade of lavender, another on the south side that will hopefully sport a vintage gate this spring, and finally a utility entrance on the east side with a double picket gate, big enough to get my garden cart through.  The northern half features a large circular bed divided into quarters plus beds surrounding the circle.   There is an arbor on the east side of this garden, where I have placed a lovely white metal bench given to me as a birthday gift from my mom.  It’s a lovely spot to sit and watch the sun set, surrounded by antique climbing roses in the spring followed by huge butterfly bushes behind it in the summer.  In this garden I grow perennials, many herbs, and a whole bunch of antique roses.  The quarters of the circle bed are edged in lavender, providing an intoxicating aroma when in bloom.   The north edge features several lilac bushes, which add to the heady scent in May.

The other half of the garden is considered to be the kitchen garden, and features 8 raised beds.  Veggies are rotated through the beds each year, however I reserve one entire bed for peonies that I use for cutting and drying.  Another bed tries to contain my raspberry patch, which my family enjoys feasting on all summer long.  I also have 2 more antique roses planted other raised beds – they provide a nice contrast to the veggies, and, basically just make me smile!

The entire garden is  surrounded by a border, still waiting for proper planting.  For right now, daisies, iris, rogue sunflowers from the bird feeder, ladies mantle and day lilies cheer the area up.

I am making a list of plants that need moving, plants that need replacing, plus a “wish list” of plants that simply must find a home in my garden.  Topping the list are several more antique roses – I can’t seem to get enough of these beauties.  Many only bloom once, unlike their modern cousins, however what they lack in length of bloom time is more than made up in gorgeous blowsy blooms and heavenly scent.  I greet them as dear friends as they come into bloom, and am always eager to see who will be the first (yes, I know – I am referring to them as people – but some of these shrubs have been with me for 15 or more years – I brought many of them with me when I moved to this house!)

I long for a warm day (not unheard of in this part of the country), so that I can go out and play with my “girls”.  Chat and check on how they are fairing, watch the birds at the feeders, and dream, dream, dream of the promise of spring.

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