Every gardener soon learns how to do the Waltz in the Garden.
It begins innocently enough with a trip to the garden center, perhaps just to get a few bags of top soil or a hose end sprayer. We tell ourselves we won’t look at the plants, there’s no time really.
Then we arrive at the garden center, perhaps at the same time as a new shipment of plants or maybe just at the time when all the watering has been done and so the plants look fresh, and eager, and oh so pretty.
As we scurry through the garden center to get to the potting soil, we are thinking about how we will not look at the plants, we will not look at the plants, WE WILL NOT LOOK AT THE PLANTS… and then we see it.
Our eyes might lock in on the bloom or our heart jumps at the variegation of the foliage. We move closer. We check the tag.
We lose our will power, our objective thinking. We will buy that plant.
But do we have a place to plant it?
Such a question is too practical to ask or even answer at this point. It is too nice of a plant to pass up. We’ve never seen one like it before. We will rationalize about all the many places it could go, or if no spot comes to mind, we will convince ourselves that we will find a place to plant it once we get it home.
We do what we have to do.
We buy the plant and take it home, perhaps forgetting about the top soil, or whatever reason we had for going to the garden center in the first place.
And then we begin the Waltz in the Garden.
We carry the new plant from place to place looking for the perfect place to plant it. It may be a short waltz, if we find the right spot quickly. Or the waltz may turn into a wild polka as we find the perfect spot, but find it occupied by another plant. So we move that plant and maybe several other plants in succession to make a space for our new plant.
Then the planting part of the waltz begins. We set the plant down, twirl it this way and twirl it that way until we are satisfied that indeed it is in the right spot and we have the best side of the plant, the front, facing the way we want it.
We dig a nice hole, perhaps with a trowel for a small perennial plant, or maybe with a shovel if we had the nerve to ask a tree to dance the waltz without knowing exactly where we might plant it.
And the waltz concludes with a pat, pat, pat as we tamp the soil gently around the base of the plant and water it in well.
Have you danced a Waltz in the Garden with a new plant?
Or have you lived with the regret of leaving the perfect plant behind at the garden center, gone home to dance alone, and then returned for the plant, only to find out that it gave up waiting for you and left with another gardener?
Don’t let that happen to you! If you find a plant and fall in love with it, buy it and take it home right away. You will always find a little spot in your garden to dance the Waltz in the Garden with a plant you love.
Blooming in my garden today, pictured above, another double tulip, a passalong Bleeding Heart from my sister who does not garden, and a bed of tulips by the front walkway.