My front beds have gone from bare to ongepotchket (‘Slapped together without form, excessively decorated,’ according to one Yiddish dictionary) in a month. No, not true, but I see how easily it could happen…I can’t stop planting!
EXACTLY ONE YEAR AGO, I had just moved to my new home in Springs (East Hampton), N.Y. I had no heat. No refrigerator. No driveway — just a sea of mud. And a backyard that was impenetrable, due to overgrown wisteria and weeds, with a fallen-down shed in the middle of it. I was cold, scared, and lonely; I didn’t know many people in the area. The weather was foul, and I prayed for a bit of sunshine to put a more comforting spin on things.
Greener than brown…
These days, I’m warm and toasty, with a fully functioning kitchen, a new roof, and a yard that’s at least partly under control. To be sure, there’s a ways to go: I still need a new bathroom, a deck, and a paint job. But I love living here. It’s home. I have wonderful new friends and neighbors. I no longer choke on the word “Hamptons.” I’ve even caught myself saying “up-island,” as in “Whenever I go up-island, I stop at IKEA [Costco, Home Depot…]” (Up-island is a term we East Enders use to refer to parts of Long Island closer to…what’s the name of that city again? Right, New York.)
Still rock-hunting for those edges…only the best will do.
Today, in fact, I went up-island, to visit my cousin Barbara and pick up her birthday present to me: five big bags of compost — a most welcome gift. Yes, it was teeming, but that didn’t stop us from dividing some of her astilbe, epimedium, and liriope, which I hauled back in my trusty Honda. Tomorrow I’ll plant it, rain or shine. My front-yard beds have gone from bare to practically stuffed in about a month.
Moving on to containers…
A very satisfying day. While the Long Island Expressway is still soul-numbing (I listened to a new Anne Tyler book, Noah’s Compass, on CD — also somewhat numbing), I didn’t mind the rain. As a civilian, I would have preferred pleasanter weather. But as a gardener, I’m thrilled that Nature is doing the watering.
New favorite: an old concrete birdbath planted with sedum and scaevola, an annual.