As I sat down to write my garden column last week, I had a panicked thought - what if I don't have enough going on in my garden to write about for a whole summer?
Of course, that was an absolutely absurd thing to think. Not enough to write about in a garden? Ridiculous!
To prove my point, my cosmos started budding over the weekend, and on Monday the first flower hesitantly unfurled its petals. There's nothing like the little thrill that comes from seeing a flower that you've grown from seed.
Tribune Chronicle / Mary Beth Wyko
This week, my cosmos started budding, and the first flower appeared on Monday.
I first grew cosmos last summer. I sowed them directly in the pot last year, so it was much later in the summer before I got my first blooms. This year, I started them early with the rest of my seeds in my basement "greenhouse" which means earlier blooms.
I went with all white "Snow Sonata" cosmos last summer, but I decided to go for the "Sonata Mix" this year which promises flowers in various shades of pink and white. My first flower is a dark magenta color, and I'm looking forward to seeing what other colors my plants produce.
Though I enjoy growing vegetables and eating them later in the summer, I really prefer flower gardening. But in these budget-conscious days, I sometimes feel a bit guilty spending a lot on plants that don't feed me at a later date. I don't mind investing in vegetables - last year, a wise purchase on my account kept my husband in hot peppers for most of the summer, and he even wound up making his own hot sauce with some of the harvest.
Beauty is its own reward, but I still hesitate when it comes to buying flowers. Luckily, I get a good deal from Renee's Gardens on seeds, so I can indulge in my love of flowers without the guilt.
Speaking of flowers, I made a happy discovery in my cottage garden this week. My "Rozanne" geranium that I thought was dead has new leaf growth. With a little patience and some TLC, I may get those little purple flowers I love this summer after all.
The plants in my cottage garden are really beginning to thrive now - I think the rains this past weekend helped with that - but so are the weeds that grew there before I put my flowers in. They're making their presence known, so I'm going to have to spend some time weeding this week.
Share your gardening tips and stories with me at firstname.lastname@example.org