I can't tell you how many times I have said "Next Year" It is the nature of gardening that we are often looking to the next year. Just this morning I was saying those very words.
I love to grow things from seeds and those that can be sown directly in the ground are my favorite. Last fall I purchased a packet of California poppy seeds. Not that I need any more of those self- seeding orange poppies. But this packet was different. California poppy, Eschscholzia caespitosa dwarf Sometimes called the Tufted poppy or Foothill poppy it is native to the Chaparral community of plants from Oregon through California to Baja California.
Always on the lookout for dwarf plants for my rock gardens I thought I would give them a try. I noticed some rather spindly looking shoots some weeks ago doubting that they would amount to much. We have been so dry that I decided they were not doing well because of the lack of rain, so I watered them. They responded by growing and flowering in the space of two weeks with lovely bright yellow blooms. They are only 6" tall, perfect for a spot between the rocks. I wish now I had sowed the whole packet instead of putting a few seeds in 3 areas. A big Next Year for these little poppies.
Sometimes illustrations on seed packets disappoint, but not this one.
Alas, another packet of seeds disappointed me this year. Double Click Blend, Cosmos. I grew these same flowers last year and they had gorgeous, frilly blooms. This year among the 20 seeds in the packet not one of them is frilled. In fact several are plain run-of-the-mill cosmos. It is too late for me to grow them again this year so it will be another case of hoping for better luck Next Year.
We spent the morning moving the citrus into position in the potager and the plants that are staged at the ziggurat steps. Or rather I directed as David did the lifting, carrying and placing. Those citrus pots are heavy and some of the other plants are vicious, particularly Aloe marlothii. Honestly, I felt terribly guilty asking him to do a job that someone of our age shouldn't be doing. I made him a promise that he will never have to move the Aloe marlothii again. It will either survive or die in that spot. I don't think it is ever going to reach its full potential which is to flower with gorgeous orange blooms. Possibly because it spends the winter in the garage which is not place to induce winter blooming.
Always an unplanned combination of plants is likely to bring a Next Year moment, but how often is it repeated? And what of those beautiful red flax flowers. Last year I said more Next Year and I have exactly 2 clumps of them. The seed packets sitting idle in the laundry room. But once again I can say Next Year and hope it will be. The years are slipping away!
Our septic filed is another Next Year dream. For years I tried to grow wildflowers but none ever came. In an attempt to reduce the fertility of the soil we started gathering the grass when mowing and directed our sprinkler heads into the wooded area. And after 2 years it seems to be working. There are many clumps of bluebonnets several blanket flowers and I can just visualize that Next Year it will be a wildflower meadow, and if not next year then the next year.
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