Monday, May 4, 2009

Spring 2009

Although it's been a long haul, in many ways, it is finally Spring and the gardens are getting going.  The winter was a tough one - I had major surgery early in February (recovery was very smooth, assisted by many wonderful folks) and I lost two of my best friends in March.  Gus (picture at left), my friend and companion of 17 years, succumbed to kidney failure at the age of 20 on March 7; and on March 16, his little girl, Isis, went home to be with him when we discovered pervasive cancer.  Alex, Meli, Princess Nur, Rameses and I miss them terribly but we know they are with us every day, as are Domino, Memnon and Sisygambis.

So, Spring is here and the world is beginning to warm up and get moving.  I'll be having another garden tour, in connection with the Macomb County Master Gardeners, on May 24 - that's the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend - from 1:00-4:00pm.  Please come and see early flowering Clematis as well as a garden in transition away from primarily exotic species to one featuring numerous native plants.  I'll also be featuring my pottery in its "natural environment", as well as some lovely artwork by my good friend Cathy Dossin, who could paint circles around me with both eyes closed and one hand tied around her back (and hopping on one leg?)  The lady can paint, I'm sayin'.

I've actually gotten quite a lot done in the garden that I didn't get to last year:  I straightened up (as much as a body can) the structure on which C. montana 'Pink Perfection' and C. viticella 'Alba Luxurians' are growing; I put out the decorative bird house, which has been languishing for years in my garage; I bought a wind sculpture on sale this winter and that's out, on a 7' post (it might even be taller than Joe Pye come the end of summer); there are new "Daughters of Clytie" in the back - my friends Deb and Sharon have joined the rest of us out there; I cleaned lots of deadwood out of C. montana 'Pink Perfection' and she looks great; and numerous woodland wildflowers have been going in as I'm working on my presentation on native plants in a small urban garden.  So, there will be lots to see come May 24.

On May 16, I'll be down on Grosse Ile for the Herb Fest, an absolutely superb annual event put together by the members of the Grosse Ile Herb Society.  This year they're going with a "green" theme, in keeping with the trends so many of us are seeing and pursuing these days.  My friend Jill will be there with her herbal products (love the Patchouli oil, Jill!) and hopefully Tim Hanks will be there with his beautiful handmade redwood birdhouses embellished with vintage hardware and other findings (as well as some other folks, not to mention the great plants for sale).  The members of the Grosse Ile Herb Society know how to put on a event, so catch us there at Centennial Farm if you can.

On May 23, I'll be at Ray Hunter in Southgate giving a presentation on "Plan(t) for Success".  Please support your local, independently-owned businesses and come visit me at Ray Hunter on May 23.

May 30-31, Karen Bovio of Specialty Growers in Howell has her annual open house, including appearances by the famed Janet Macunavich.  Janet is amazing and not to be missed; and a number of garden artists - including yours truly - will be there to share the love.  Karen does great work growing perennials suitable for Michigan gardens and she does it the right way, so the plants are hardy and ready to go at planting time.  And the variety is staggering.  It would be great to see you there.  (Just watch out for the kitty - she has a bit of a temper and can be somewhat of a tease.)

I want to thank everyone who helped me get through the last four months - especially Catherine, Stephen, Lisa, Sharon, Cathy, Kathy, Katherine, Kath and all the people who have supported my pottery, public speaking, gardening and art education enterprises.  You know who you are.  I'm not always sure where I've gotten myself but I know that, wherever I am, I wouldn't be here without the support all of you.

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