Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Leap Year

Yes, this is a leap year folks!

There is no 29 February on your calendar?! The next leap year is 2012?!  (One extra day to prolong the misery of February, one extra day before one gets paid: what is there to actually love about leap year day?!)

Forget what conventional wisdom tells you.

No, folks. This is my leap year (though I admit, this may not be your leap year).

On what basis do I argue this?

There is an old gardening adage when it comes to the plant kingdom: the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap!

Now, forget what I just told you about conventional wisdom. This adage is right. It is no longer a hypothesis, but a veritable nugget of wisdom cultivated in fields of black gold.

(I agree: the metaphors were mixed, the image idiotic, and the sentence just plain stupid.)

But the proof is in the pudding (ha! gotcha with another metaphor!). Try it.

While dating my garden is difficult to do--one always adds and subtracts, things die over the winter, etc.--the entire front sun garden dates to 2008, as does the East Side Shade Bed which I renovated late last fall. And the two beds that run along the backyard deck also date to 2008. The newly-dubbed Lantern bed was planted in 2009. So for much of my garden (construed as a whole, not simply as the aggregate of its many parts), this marks the 3rd year of existence.

And already I see signs of lots of "leaping!"  (I haven't space to showcase particular plants, so I've opted to provide "aerial" shots of the back shade garden, some taken in the rain.)

Keep in mind that some plants--especially those in the deep shade of the extension of the Buddha Bed,  the autumn ferns, and the blue based hostas--have only recently emerged. Keep in mind that though we've had some rather unseasonable heat, the temperatures have wildly fluctuated over the last 6 weeks (indeed, just late last week did we experience temperatures in the 30s with a threat of frost last Thursday evening).

Despite those caveats, the many specimens are flourishing thus far!

The Lantern Bed (of 2009; so this would be the year of creep)

My blue bed: a veritable sea lashing against the shores of Sedum ellacombanium, with the towering red mountains of Pieris japonica and Sum and Substance Hosta presiding...

 The renovated East Side Shade Bed, with Kerria japonica now past its prime flowering, with color being provided by the flowering blue spikes of ajuga and the yellow-oranges of Orange Marmalade Hosta and the Golden Kate Spiderwort

More of the ESSB and the Buddha bed, with the neighbors fragrant Viburnum towering above

The Lantern Bed looking back at the newly renovated rear corner, with Ostrich ferns proudly dominating over the new addition to the garden, Leatherleaf Mahonia

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