Gardeners know the best dirt. When gardeners get excited, they wet their plants. Yes, we perennial plant-tenders are a witty bunch.
We’re also a fairly nice bunch. Put it this way: You generally have to have patience, positivism and passion to grow a garden. Those qualities often make for a pleasant personality. I’ve learned, over years of toiling in my own yard, that other gardeners are generous with advice, generous with praise, even generous with cuttings of that exotic double-blossom biennial you’ve been admiring in their front flowerbed.
It was a beautiful day Wednesday and a real treat for me to ogle other people’s gardens on my morning walk – I only had to dodge four sprinklers along my route. There’s one garden I pass regularly that’s absolutely stunning, crammed from stem to stern (get it?) with flowering plants. In particular, the lavender here grows up so healthy, full and aromatic that, later in the summer, my friend will make a point of burying her face in it every time we walk by.
On Wednesday the homeowner happened to be out front with her hose when I approached her garden. Naturally, I took the opportunity to ask her for lavender tips. Does she cut the dead foliage right back in early spring? Does it depend on the kind of winter we’ve had? Like most gardeners I’ve met, this one didn’t hesitate to share what she knew. She was kind, and outgoing. She even knew my garden immediately, when I described it. (Hm, I think I foresee a friendly exchange of divided perennials in our future.)
Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year? Let me leave you with these wise words: Old gardeners never die, of course. They just go to seed / go to pot / spade away (pick your favourite).