I love to fill planters with color. My annual search for flora begins in April with a trip to local garden centers overflowing with pinks, vibrant reds, white, purple, blue and sunshine yellow. I walk around the tables imagining my deck and patio garden as if they were in a Jane Austin landscape. I dream of hanging baskets cascading with wispy blooms. My goal is to create an oasis of color and tranquility where guests can sit and savor. Spring plantings promise so much. Drought delivers something different.
Every year, I remind myself that around July, the baking sun and rising temperatures will win the battle. I know that this usually prevails, but those gentle petals beguile me into thinking we'll spend the summer together. I picture myself sipping lemonade beneath shade trees (that grow on a slope in my yard quite unable to sustain peaceful benches). In this idyllic scene, I sense the breeze as it flirts with gentle blossoms and smell the mossy fragrance of rich potting soil.
Now, cut to reality. In August on my deck, the potted plants that remain have cracked soil, withered leafless stems and fading flowers begging for mercy. Even if I remember to water them daily, there are times when even the sturdiest of geraniums would be best served in the compost pile. If I had one. And, seriously, who wants to sit outside and muse when sweat runs down your temples and even the dog is whining to go inside? I'm an A/C girl and not ashamed to admit it.
This April will find me full-throttle and elbow-deep in planting. I've surrendered to the fact that I'm a floral optimist. You'll find me filling planters and humming some Disney soundtrack hoping this year will be different. And, if by some chance it is, stop by for lemonade.