Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lilac Season

The lilacs above are an old fashioned variety that were here when we bought the property over thirty years ago. They had probably been here for many decades before that since this property was once a farmstead along the banks of the lake, going back to the nineteenth century when the area was cleared and homesteaded. Hard as it is to believe today, northwest Michigan was still very much a wilderness until late in the 1800's. Some southern Michiganders still think it is!

Our lilacs are now in bloom, and their sweet fragrance fills the air when I do my daily tour of the flower beds. Unfortunately, we can’t see them from the house, but there are small lilacs planted along the road fence which will be visible from the house once they’re big enough to put on a real display. I was told they need lots of manure to bloom well, so I must remember to bring some home from the barn each time I go. Last year they got a dose of Moo Doo, but it didn’t spur any blooms this Spring, much to my disappointment.

Last weekend I drove all over in search of the annuals that I wanted for the flower beds; wax begonias with green leaves and pink and white flowers. By experimentation, these are the colors that work the best in the beds along the driveway and house and the round bed that hides the well pipe. These are partially shaded areas, and the begonias do better than any other plants I’ve tried, plus they bloom profusely well into autumn. I just love them!

I also bought a flat of pansies, another favorite, and will plant them in the road fence beds as border plants where ever there is a need. Several years ago these happy little plants bloomed so well that they could be seen from the house and even managed to over winter and bloom again. I lost the remaining ones when they dried up one summer before I could get them mulched. I don’t know what it is about that bed along the fence; whether it’s a thick layer of insulating snow that the plows deposit or what. My snap dragons come back every year, too, and are now about five years old.

On Sunday I weeded the driveway flower bed and planted some of the begonias; by far the earliest I’ve ever planted before! Usually, June is ending before I get around to this chore, and wouldn’t you know it; there was a freeze warning for Sunday night! We missed the freeze, and the plants looked healthy the next morning and happy to be out of their confining little boxes.

For the time being, I’m contenting myself with this form of creativity while winding up other urgent projects around the house and figuring out how I can fit in significant blocks of time for artwork. I suspect that means curtailing computer time to an hour a day instead of the several that is the current routine. Goodbye Facebook and other mindless wanderings around the internet.

Just as I had hoped, my last blog post about the licensing agent has exorcised this unpleasant experience once and for all and has allowed me to move on. As negative as it was, it had a very positive and beneficial effect. Such people are just not worth stewing over!

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