We’ve recently had a bit of a cold snap, but the drop in temperature hasn’t stopped the early display of blossoms in my garden. It’s a rare Spring when the forsythia, a cherry tree, waves of daffodils and early tulips are all on show in my yard, and, boy, am I enjoying it.
I’m a gardener—in case you couldn’t tell. True, as the years go by, I expend less time and energy on plants that need to be coddled, gravitating instead to native perennials and those that seem to thrive with neglect. These days, it’s more a case of thinning out than adding new.
So what kind of plants do I have? I live in central New Jersey in a wooded area, and so I have a shade garden. My aesthetic is “natural”, which requires more work than one might imagine. Believe me when I say there’s a fine line between a free-flowing tumble of plantings and utter chaos. As for trees, I have a wonderful array of maples and wild dogwoods. My shrubs are much as you might expect: rhododendrons, azaleas, pieris andromeda, hydrangeas and hollies—all those wonderful acid-loving varieties. My perennials include mounds of Lenten roses, deep-purple columbines, hostas of every stripe (literally), black-eyed Susans, lobelia syphilitica, daylilies, spiderwort, foxgloves and scented geraniums. I could go on, but I must stop somewhere. And just to round things out, I move outside two palm trees and plant begonias and cherry tomatoes in large pots on the deck.
Each year brings something new, sometimes delightful, sometimes not—tulips that haven’t shown their petals in years suddenly pop up, or a random deer evade the black-mesh fence and enjoys a feast of daylilies. Either way, I always say it’s hard to be depressed in the face of such changing beauty.
So, are you a gardener, too? Tell me what you plant, what you love about your garden, and what frustrates you. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Oh, and by the way, my new release from Harlequin Superromance, The Company You Keep, is also out in April—a bouquet of love that’s a perfect accompaniment to my spring garden.