Someone told me recently, that anyone who plants a seed is a gardener. I never thought of myself that way.
I harvest seeds while hiking and purchase wildflower assortments to supplement my sunny patches on Sylvandell Drive. No year in our yard is ever quite the same.
My fanciful habits give us a perpetual scavenger hunt of surprises, with my husband scouting for new blooms as he waters. This year’s clear winner was the lupine dumped from a pocket in my jeans that took the opportunity to spread like mad.
Our colorful tangles of only about 30 square feet will never rival those that graced the Mt. Lebanon Public Library’s Garden Tour last weekend: some opulent and splendid; others cozy and beautiful.
Long ago, I realized the pleasure in mine is highly personal. I am trying to recreate a feeling I associate with a particular field half a mile up the hill from my childhood home in Ohio. The original wild tangle marked a border between our place and a neighboring farm. There were daisies and black-eyed Susans, clover and buttercups. You’ll now find them all in our yard.
I sprinkle in the vines I associate with my Grandma Sue (sweet peas and morning glories), as well as blooms that bring me joy (like the abundant Virginia clematis).
Other flowers are there as gifts–like the irises from Ali Callahan (who lives over on Oxford) that are so plentiful I can occasionally split them to share on again. I also have peonies, lilies, and live forever from my mom and sisters respectively.
My husband, other library board members, and the staff worked at making this year’s tour extra special, and attendees really seemed to appreciate the results. They engaged in conversations on deer deterrents and sunny/shade problems with total strangers on a steamy afternoon. Several commented that it was our ease with each other that marked Mt. Lebanon as a place we all love.
I had a ball in those storybook gardens with dozens of cheerful strangers, but when the tours were over and the day was done, I happily came home to play in the seeds and chaos of my own backyard.