A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Playing in the Poison Ivy

The Garden Voices gig is taking up way more of my time than I anticipated and with the planting season in full swing, I have even less time. I stopped doing housework last week. I haven't cooked in days. But now, thanks to my own stupidity, I am being forced to take a break. Last fall and earlier this spring, I suited up, double gloved and ripped out the last of the poison ivy that was infesting my rosebushes so I could create a hummingbird garden. I congratulated myself on avoiding the usual misery. Yesterday, when I went out to plant seeds and the monarda plants that had been delivered I spied some familiar leaves. Thanks to the cool weather, I was already completely covered. I added my double layer of latex gloves and carefully got to work.

Turns out poison ivy is much more virulent when it has leaves. I was already itching when I woke up this morning. By dinner-time, my face and neck were covered with the familiar rash. By the time I got to the doctor, one eye was almost completely swollen shut. He wanted to give me a shot, but I hate needles, so I opted to suffer a little longer and just take the pills. Thank goodness I have taken this week off from work to get my planting done. I did my grocery shopping yesterday. I have several DVD's I haven't watched. I have no reason to leave the house for the next few days or at least until I am fit to be seen in public.

My garden is looking much better than I am. I love the little wild columbine. So far only one has bloomed. I guess the rest have to get a little bigger. Maybe next year.

I'm hoping it will liberally reseed itself. I envision a carpet of them in the spring. In the semi-shady garden, the Grandmother's Garden columbine is sending up buds. Last year only one of my two plants bloomed. This year, both were going to bloom until the squirrels very neatly bit off the flower stalk of the smaller one.

My lilac bush is blooming exuberantly. "Exuberantly" is a relative term. I planted it a decade ago when I moved into this house. It had a single blossom in 2004. This year I counted nine blossoms!

Underneath it, I have planted violets and lily of the valley, both of which have spread like, well, weeds. The combined fragrance is heavenly when I walk out my back door. Which was my original intention all those years ago.

I've added tulips to my wish list of bulbs. Three more bloomed and that's it on the tulips. I definitely need more.
A big disappointment for me this year were the yellow muscari. They just didn't move me. They are supposed to be fragrant but I had to stick my nose right up to the flower to smell it.

I know, I know. Don't plant in rows. I'm hoping they multiply like the purple ones. Maybe they will be more attractive in groups.

I finally have green daffodils. I don't know why all these daffodils face downwards. It makes it very difficult to photograph them.

And the first year results of the multi-year Money Plant experiment are in! White. What? You don't remember The Great Money Plant Experiment? Briefly, it goes like this. I planted Money Plant. They all came out white. The birds planted Money Plant. They all came out purple. The seeds from the white ones have all bloomed white this year. Next year, the seeds from the purple ones should bloom. After this, I'm just going to let them all reseed directly into the gardens. I assume eventually one color will dominate. The Experiment continues!


At 12:26 PM, Blogger kate said...

Poison ivy YUCK! I hope the pills work fast...

I love the pic with the 'Queen of the Night' tulips & the daffodils! Very beautiful!

At 11:23 PM, Blogger crazygramma said...

Your Lilac bush looks great! Mine has just bloomed. I have been so lucky I have never made contact with poisin ivy. Hope you are feeling better soon.

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Sorry to hear about your poison ivy. I am glad you talked about the yellow muscari. I just saw them in a catalog, and I know the catalogs exaggerate. It's great to see something "real" to compare to.


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