Sunday, May 22, 2011

In Praise of Hostas

I love starting a new garden. That is what I am doing around here. And yet, I know it is not entirely new, for someone, a very long time ago, planted borders along the sides of the back yard. In digging around back there among the weeds, I found a variety of perennials: violets, lovely small irises, periwinkle, sedum, fall crocus, way too many tiger lilies and something else that a local nursery told me is an old type of day lily. I like the evidence that someone else once had a garden here, even while I have the feeling that I am beginning a new garden. I’ve begun imagining the woman - I’m sure it was another woman - who planted these perennials and had the rocks placed there.

In April I wrote about the Star of Bethlehem (SOB) that had totally taken over during the years of neglect before we moved here. Over a period of a number of weeks this spring we managed to dig out the SOBs despite incessant rain for many weeks.

 On Saturday Andrea, my garden helper, called up and asked if I’d like her to come and do some more work. I was so delighted that she phoned. By the end of the afternoon she had completed clearing out the rest of the back garden along the fence and had planted hostas among the rocks. The hostas came from four clumps underneath the big black walnut tree in the middle of the yard.

I love hostas for their supreme endurance, their forgiving nature. They grow, regardless of how they are treated -  they certainly had not been treated well here and yet they endured. Now they have their own spaces and I know they will respond to the loving care they are receiving, each in its new spot.

So here’s to hostas and the pleasure they give us.

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