Thursday, February 22, 2007
Itching for Spring
It has started.
I was in line at Lowes yesterday and picked up my first gardening magazine of the year. I love that moment when I recognize that spring is coming and I can sculpt my backyard with a shake of a seed package.
There's one plant that I've never had any luck with, the purple echinacea in the photograph above. I took that picture at the Holley Family Village in Michigan a few years ago. They had a wonderful, small garden filled with native plants and grasses. For the last couple of years, I've tried transplants, potted plants and seeds in an effort to get purple echinacea in my landscape.
At first, I tried just one potted plant, figuring that I could harvest the seeds and divide the plant for the following year. I'm such a cheap gardener, I don't like to spend money on something that can be propagated easily. That first year, the rabbits mowed the plant down to the ground.
The second year, I tried seeds in various locations. The rabbits had a picnic as soon as the seedlings sprouted.
I also hate having to barricade a plant, so plants have to be tough to survive in our backyard. We live across the street from a prairie filled with coyotes, so the rabbits take refuge in suburbia. You know that old rule about seeing one rabbit? It means you've got a family of a million rabbits instead.
Last year, I didn't bother with the echinacea because I was experimenting with white daisies from my neighbor. I was so happy that a clump of white daisies managed to survive the rabbits without a barricade.
So perhaps this summer will be the summer of purple flowers for me.
Stay tuned. Pictures will be forthcoming in August.
Assuming, of course, that the rabbits don't win again.