Thursday, June 2, 2011

How To Make A Gardener Smile...

It doesn't take much to make me smile, especially this time of year when the days are long, the nights are warm and the world is in bloom. The warm weather always seems to move through Rochester too quickly, but in reality, there's a lot of summer left. Hot summer. The kind that reminds me of my childhood running through the sprinkler, late nights catching fireflies and drinking cool lemonade (and no commitments!). A walk in the garden seeing all the buzzing activity of the bees and the bugs definitely puts me in the mood to kick back, relax and enjoy the season.

I remember my grandmother telling me "If the corn is knee-high by the fourth of July, It'll make corn, wet or dry." There are just some things that will always remain true…like knowing that my garden will be full of color every summer. I relish each new bloom as it appears and joins the rest of those that make up the color palette of the garden.

This is also the time for revisiting what is growing in my garden and planning for the future. I evaluate what’s working or not working in the garden palette and then of course, I consult my husband Larry who tells me to follow one simple rule “Grow what you love and it will all come together”.

Traditionally, I’ve always focused on bright, bold colorful gardens. I love the saturation of lavender, dahlias, begonias, petunias and sunflowers. After so many months with no color, I sometimes go a little overboard!

Over the years, my taste in flowers has matured and I’m willing to try new flowers and combinations.  At one point I would have never considered growing a Hosta garden, now I love to linger through my lush (and low maintenance!) shade garden of Hostas, Astilbes and ferns. With all the interesting shapes, textures and sizes, my shade garden is just a delight to behold. Of course I’m proud of how beautiful my garden is (thanks Larry), but also proud that I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and tried non-traditional styles, shapes and textures.

So, even though I can always count on certain summer traditions, my garden is a gentle reminder to try new things and always keep growing. In fact, now is a fine time to enjoy my own summer tradition of sipping a glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc in the beauty of my garden…cheers!
.... Frances Grossman