Getting real…

English: Japanese cherry trees (Sakura), a gif...

Cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin

January is here with its up and down weather.  Cold the first few days of the week and in the sixties the past few days.  Bulbs are pushing up everywhere and snowdrops have been blooming most of the winter.  Or is it winter?  The problem with these warm days is that the flowering trees, of which we have many in this area, become confused.  This can be especially heartbreaking for the Cherry trees along the Tidal Basin which can lose their bloom when the weather turns cold again.

I’ve been so busy with this that and the other lately, I have had little time to think about my garden.  You might ask, how can gardeners think about gardening in January, but those of you who garden know a gardener’s work is never done. During January we curl up with a steaming cup of something and pour over garden books and catalogues and dream of gardens to come.  We also think about changes we want to make to existing beds and borders. 

Only this morning, I showed David what I want to do with the border bed in the front yard to contain the day lilies I did not plant. They are unwelcome visitors from Bridget’s yard and although I don’t much care for them because they sprawl over the grass and kill it, I have not tried to root them out, mostly because I can’t.  Besides, they grow where little else will.  In fact, almost everything in that bed is a Virginia native or something that migrated from somewhere else.  The birds build great beds on borders. 

A rock wall to raise the bed should help I tell David.  He looks at the photo I show him in my new garden book Tomorrow’s Garden by Stephen Orr, and grunts. These days, he is disinclined to commit to large garden projects.  Thank goodness for Seth at Merrifield Garden Center.  


I had thought about our taking a trip next year to celebrate 30 years of marriage and my 70th birthday, and perhaps even my graduation should it finally take place.  David is less than enthusiastic.  He has not wanted to travel very much the past few years.  The last two times I traveled to Europe in the late 1990s, I went alone. I had a good time because I did a lot of planning and found great places to stay including my son’s home in Spain.  These days, I am lazy and disinclined to do much research.  We have tried several Elderhostel venues in recent years, small trips to places in the Northeast, but not enjoyed them very much.

I want to got to the Middle East, he says.  I want to go to Israel.  I think about all the walking and climbing and groan inwardly. We can’t even get to the end of the block without him in pain and me breathless. In fact, this very morning he is stopping by the DMV to pick up his handicapped tag.

I was thinking more along the lines of a cruise around the North Sea, I tell him visualizing us both in motorized wheel chairs for those land excursions.

I thought you wanted to see Narva again. You know Copenhagen, Stockholm, Hamburg, Helsinki, Tallinn, Saint Petersburg.

What about a train trip out west, I ask.  You like trains.  He comes up with about a dozen excuses as to why this is not feasible or desirable. 

Suddenly, he says he wants to see Saint Petersburg.  Saint Petersburg Florida is about as far as I will ever get him.  No, I take that back.  Getting out to Connie’s farm is as far as I will ever get him, and maybe not there.

 I think I’ll use the money to hire Seth to build the raised bed.