When we moved to Tennessee I wondered if I would miss gardening. I intentionally bought a house in a PUD, recognizing that I didn't have time and accepted that I would rather be somewhere where someone else worked at keeping up appearances, at least landscaping wise.
Still I wondered. I would ask myself, rather abstractly, if I wanted to buy planters to flank the garage door. I would admire the pretty annuals in the neighbors' yards and gently chide myself about my lack of motivation. And yet I did nothing. My wishes for flowers were nothing but idle fancy, fluff and dreams, nothing concrete.
It started with two hanging baskets. I was at Kroger, not thinking about flowers, thinking about a few things I needed at the house before family arrived later that afternoon. Flowers caught me by surprise. I bought two hanging baskets. I set them in the front flower bed by the front bed and did nothing further. I watered them daily, faithfully, tending their promise of beauty to come. But I didn't know what to do with them. My mind was elsewhere.
The day after everyone left, one week after George's death. I saw two large oval planters and I knew they needed to come home with me. They were delivered that same day. For a week they sat: empty. Baby steps.
I started on Memorial Day weekend. Hours were spent wandering through nurseries, looking for plants. Everything is different here. The light is different than it was at my former home. There I was mostly planting in shade; here I have full sun. But the plant selection is different too, even the annuals. It was both fun and overwhelming.
I like the effect so far. I have no idea how they will hold up over the summer, if these plants will play harmoniously together or if one will bully the rest, overwhelming everything and taking over.
Once the planters were filled, I addressed those two lonely hanging baskets. I realized that I was suffering a problem of context. It was not the plants themselves that were the problem, but the potting medium. Two pots and two plant stands later they grace an empty corner of my front walk and my house is taking baby steps toward becoming a home. It no longer looks like the plainest, loneliest house on the street.
Two pots became four. Once I got my hands in the dirt. Once I saw the flowers I couldn't stop. I missed the dirt. I missed the flowers. Four pots have become six, eight. I am still planting. And now it seems that yes, I am home.