Posted by: chlost | May 21, 2012

Spring Weeks End

When I wrote about my gardening, I failed to fully explain the source of my frustrations.

Last fall, I became very energetic. I envisioned a spectacularly colorful garden, filled with flowers this spring. I planted approximately 90 bulbs for spring flowers in a small garden plot. Surely, this would live up to my dreams of a beautiful backyard garden.

Here is what my garden plantings looked like this spring:

These are the beautiful, colorful tulips that bloomed this spring. In my dreams…..

Munched off right at ground level.

Apparently, tulips are a  delicacy-for deer. Nearly every plant was bitten off right to ground level before they were able to bloom. Out of the nearly 90 bulbs I planted I ended up with nine-yes 9-tulips that actually bloomed. Any visions of a beautiful spring garden were popped by the reality of a garden that looked a lot like the history-book photos of the cities which were bombed during World War II.

After that, it has taken me a while to recover my gardening energies. I am only now beginning to feel that I will again venture toward an attempt at a summer garden. We have no plans for this upcoming holiday weekend. I envision much planting of annuals, in flower pots and in the garden.  What a fool I am!

The one saving grace for the spring was the crab tree that is in our front yard. It was covered in bright hot-pink flowers a few weeks ago. This year was a truly spectacular bloom. It seems to have a biennial cycle of blooming strongly one year, then not nearly as wonderfully the next year. This is the treat we had this year for several days:

Unfortunately, it blooms for just a few days, then becomes nearly devoid of leaves for the rest of the summer.

The other bright spots this spring have to do with family events. We have had two graduations within the past two weeks. My nephew graduated with an MBA from a small college in Illinois. Our son graduated with an MPA (Master’s of Public Administration) from a relatively small college near us.

It was interesting to listen to the speakers and contrast the messages in the graduation ceremonies. My nephew’s ceremony was pretty traditional (and very Catholic). “Go now and meet your future” would describe the theme. My son’s graduation (which included MPA, MFA, MBA and MEd degrees) was very focused on doing good in the world. “Go forth and change the world for the better” best describes that ceremony’s theme. I prefer the second message to graduates.

My mom, brother and I drove to the Chicago area for my nephew’s graduation. My sister and her family drove up from the Chicago area and stayed with us this past weekend for my son’s graduation. It has been a lot of family time lately, with Mother’s Day in between the two graduations. I am really looking forward to a weekend with nothing much scheduled for three whole days. I am already dreaming of this and it is only Monday night.

So now I will make another try at the flowers. I will devote at least one day of the upcoming weekend to that endeavor, futile as it may be.

On another day, we will likely make the rounds to the family cemetery plots, to pay respects, place some flowers and visit some other family members.

There will be a day of reading, or maybe writing a bit. I haven’t felt much like doing either lately. But I definitely need some stories.

We have nothing planned for the weekend. And that is just the way I want it.



  1. I admire your willingness to garden. I know many people find it relaxing, a way to recharge their soul. For me, it’s just another chore. I usually manage to kill everything. If there’s a special place in hell for Plant Killers, I’m sure that’s where I’ll end up, purely because of the sheer number of plants I’ve killed over the years.

    Enjoy your weekend without plans….those are usually the best of weekends!

  2. I too am counting down to the weekend… In the past I’ve had the sorrows of ‘Bambi’ in the garden. Our roses never had any leaves, just blooms on the end of ‘sticks’

  3. Ooh, it would break my heart to lose all my tulips, even though I love deer. I can’t help but garden, though, in spite of the weeds and the heat and the mosquitoes. I love it.

    Hope you have a relaxing weekend. I’m looking forward to the time off.

  4. I’m glad you’re not giving up on the flowers (and the deer will be happy you’ve refreshed their buffet, too :))

    Enjoy your holiday weekend. After all the family stuff, it sounds like a break is in order!

  5. i have planted a garden for several years this year i am fighting an unseen devil that is eating my plants off at groung level and taking them down into a hole it digs then covers itself and my plants never to be seen again. does this ring a bell

    • Never would I consider myself any expert on this. But we have moles, and I wonder if that is what you have. There are long lines of ground that are mounded up a little in our grass, from their tunnels as well. I have heard of them pulling things from the bottom. Where do you live?

  6. Oh that sucks that the deer love the same flowers you do! I love deer, but I don’t have to live with them and I understand that they can be quite the garden pest. I hope your next venture has better luck. And I hope you had a nice relaxing holiday weekend!

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