The greenhouse is mine this year while Portia turns her attention elsewhere. I took a few of our old bricks and gave it a lovely weathered floor and a path outside to the door. The embankment of mini-daffodils is also new, and rejoices my heart exceedingly. Mint for the kids to munch on grows in the terracotta pot, and they also like the sorrel I brought down from the deck. Deer came by twice last month, mowing down tulips and lilies and bluebells, so I’m busy planting up the many bare patches with free flower seeds, more perennials off the clearance trolley, and strawberries on sale: I like to garden on the cheap. I’ve been tending this little spot on and off since the summer we built, but between the poor soil, drought, frequent neglect, and deer – nothing has grown well in the last decade except the rose campion and shasta daisies, bless ’em. Even weeds never really took hold.
Inside the greenhouse I have cucumbers and tomatoes and a few other things…but increasingly I’m finding vegetables tedious and fussy, and much prefer landscape gardening with shrubs and perennials. To put it bluntly, I like plants that I don’t have start all over again every single spring. That’s too much like meals and laundry and tidying the living room.
Weeding, however, I don’t mind at all. It must be my inner editor. Still needed on the outside are a few hardy little edging plants and several buckets of beach sand to sweep between the bricks. The small scale of the project has made it so satisfying to work on: I’ve done all of this in just a handful of sunny afternoons.