Our new deck now has a line of pots, planted this morning to herbs and tomatoes. The front porch has six blue ceramic pots of flowers and foliage plants. For the first time in twenty-two years, it was a pleasure to plant these. I worked in the garage, the door open to the sun and breeze, and there wasn’t a mosquito or blackfly in sight.
Unlike here in the old house, where after about April 30 doing anything outside means repellent and long sleeves. Backing onto swamp, surrounded by trees, the bugs are just a part of the nature around us, benefiting the birds and bats, frogs and fish – but not me. I can tolerate mosquitoes, but I react very badly to blackfly, bites swelling to the size of a quarter very quickly. Getting the containers planted every spring was an endurance test…and every year I planted fewer. This year, I’ve pruned the shrubs, and the only other thing we’re doing is keeping the grass cut and edged, until it sells.
I find myself looking forward to gardening again, getting my hands in the soil, planning plantings, in a way I haven’t for some time. The new garden is smaller, and already well planted to perennials, which helps – I’m not having to decide between birding or gardening in May – there is time for both. And for sitting on the deck with a drink and a book, just relaxing. A robin is nesting in one of our trees, and the shrubs had foraging cardinals and chipping sparrows this morning. I’ve put a hummingbird feeder up, along with a couple of hanging baskets of red Calibrachoa to attract them: no luck yet (that I’ve seen), but I live hopefully. Eighteen days until moving day!