Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hi, My Name is karen, And I'm A Flower-aholic

But it's all in the name of AESTHETICS! Making things pretty can't be all bad, can it? CAN IT?!? Well, it would appear that I may be getting a little out of hand. People, since my mother died, I have indulged, and indulged often in what I like to think of as "emotional shopping." A few weeks after Mom, I was out and decided to go for it and buy the shoes I was admiring. Usually I'm incredibly cheap, so $40 for a pair of sandals would normally have been outrageous for moi. However, this karen-like voice chimed up in my head suddenly and said; "go ahead--buy them. You're mother is dead, so you deserve a little pick me up. Besides--you never know when YOU MIGHT BE DEAD TOO!" Yes, WONDERFUL reasoning. And you may think that was kind of harsh sounding, but oh, how soothing that urging was. So, karen said; "yeah! My life BLOWS right now! I DO deserve this!" And so I bought the shoes.

And so I have found myself, often, out at some department store, handing over my debit card yet again. And then, planting season arrived. Okay, so I've always had a thing for flowers. I like to sketch them, paint them, buy paintings of them, and buy the real thing. The garden at the front of the house was mostly inherited from my grandmother. It's fairly shady, being a north-facing garden, and it already had various varieties of nice, mature shrubs, hostas, and a few perrenials. So, I'd said to my husband; "I'm not going to plant a lot up here. I can't be bothered with dragging the hose out to a million gardens, and the shrubs are low maintenance, and that's what I want. I'm just going to leave it as is."

Yeah, good one.

I planted some gladiola bulbs in May in little plastic cups. Then they started to sprout! Euphoria of watching things grow! So, I planted them in this ridiculous little strip of garden in the back yard. I bought some geraniums to keep them company. Oh, and then I bought a morning glory vine, and urged the reluctant man to string up a piece of twine alongside the eavestrough, for the vine to climb.

And then I decided to plant some window boxes under the two side windows. How very European-charming, thought I. I also planted four pots of mixed annuals. Okay, I thought, that should do it. Then one Monday morning my daughter was at nursery school, my son at kindergarten, and I wasn't going for my usual walk with my girl friend. Weeeeelllll...I'll just mosey on over to the local grocery store's garden centre. They had a peony plant on sale for $10! WHAT A DEAL! But wait--look at this fabulous David Austen rose bush...and look at this pink, old fashioned rose bush, wow, you never see roses like that anymore. HEY!!! THIS HANGING BASKET IS 50% OFF BECAUSE THEY OVERWATERED IT--I CAN BRING IT BACK TO ITS ORIGINAL BEAUTY. Okay, so I crammed my car with flowers, breathed in the rosy scent and felt SUPER HAPPY on the little drive home.

Well, that was enough plants for one season.

And yet--doesn't the front garden look kinda blah, and sad, and lacking in pizzazz???

Welcome begonias, sunshine impatiens. Hm...still lacking...and I haven't even made an herb garden, so I'll take a trip to the garden centre just down the street from my brother's. OH, what a lovely trip! I found thai basil, regular basil, lemon thyme and regular thyme. How lovely. Hm...need just one more begonia and one more new guinea impatiens to fill in that empty spot. Oh, and who can resist this large, pink begonia???

Ponder,, look at that large bare spot on the right side of the front porch. Hm..the left side of the garden looks fantastic, but the right side is LACKING, PEOPLE, SADLY LACKING. Starting to consider sneaking in to my mother's rock garden to divide and pilfer...oh wait! I'll call my sister. Hooray, my sister will gladly devide some of her daylillies for me! Still--all the world has yellow and orange lilies, I want PINK ONES.

***I have to interject here with The Sad Story of karen's Lavender Plant:

Back at her old house in suburban hell, karen had a decent little garden with a large and impressive lavender plant. Every summer around Canada Day, the plant would flower, and karen could cut bunches and bunches of lavender off, tie them with ribbons or twine or whatever girly-girly thing you may wish, and put one in her fancy underwear drawer, though one must wonder why, since fancy underwear really isn't as comfortable as the man-sized cotton gitch, and why do we care if our underpants smell like lavender anyway, since they are on our @$$es? karen would also place a small bouquet on the nighttable beside her bed, and in an old white pitcher, and after doing so, karen would feel oh-so clever, and by the time she tossed the bouquets into the garbage months later, they had no smell, and were completely covered in dust. So, as she was about to move back to her home city, karen looked sadly at her garden and thought; 'why the eff am I leaving some of these plants for the new people???' and she hauled out a lovely plant with little neon-pink, bell-like flowers, and a cutting of lavender. The lavender didn't over-winter very well, and when karen put it in her new garden, it went PPPPPPFFFFFT and died. The end.

Then I said to my husband; "You know, I really miss my lavender. This will be the first year I don't have a big bunch of it."
Fatally, he replied; "go buy yourself a new one."

Yippee! Off to that fantastic, big garden centre I hadn't been to yet this year, with my little buddy Ella along for the adventure. Hm...still need one more begonia and one more sunshine impatiens, and ooooo--look at this annual; it looks like a poppy! Better buy it. And then they had PINK LILIES shining out at me. Hm, they're a little pricey, but they'll come back again, so it's okay. Lupins! Love lupins! They're the OLD FASHIONED garden flower! I'll get this tall purple thing too. Then, around another corner, I almost keel over at the beauty of the pink butterfly bush. "LOOK ELLA! I say enraptured; "THIS BUSH WILL ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES!" How do you NOT buy this?!?!

*** here I have to interject again to point out a little irony: that being, how terrified of butterflies I am. Oh well, think no more upon that...

So, a hundred dollars later...I had another car full of gorgeous flowers, and a feeling of pure happiness. I immediately had to plant all of them, which irritated my back enough to give me a deep ache in the right cheek of my..well, not my face.

THAT'S IT! I told myself. NO MORE! And yet, today I found myself out buying "orchid food" for my phalaenopsis orchid, which looks so pretty in my bathroom.

Yeah, I have a problem. House looks pretty though.


  1. I think I will use my knowledge of your fear of butterflies to take you on a surprise trip to the butterfly conservatory on your next b-day. Oh, wait. Telling you ruins the surprise. Forget I said anything. Just keep staring at your garden.

  2. I want to see photos of your garden sounds just beautiful. You have planted all my favourites and my favourite colour!!!
    Window boxes are so charming i'm impressed here Karen!!!

    It could be worse this shopping for flowers you could be Diane buying pounds of jewellery...but i didn't write that!

  3. pounds of jewellery eh? Well, we all have our addictions don't we! Okay, I'll take some pictures and post them in the near future :)

  4. Didn't I write in another one of my blogs, Matt, about my terror of butterflies? I think I did. At any rate, I went to the butterfly conservatory back in January, and it was absolutely horrifying. Jack and I were clutching each other in terror.


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