Separation (from the Garden) Anxiety

 One of the unfortunate things about my job is that I have to be out of town a great deal during May, a crucial gardening month. This past week I left on Tuesday morning and returned Saturday afternoon, just a few hours ago. I have to leave again on Monday morning (yes, Memorial Day), and won’t return until Friday.

During these periods I long for my garden. Judy helps by emailing me photos occasionally, but I still  do a great deal of worrying. (Oh, and I miss Judy, too.) Is anything drying out? Are there plants flopping over and in need of staking? Am I missing the fleeting blooms of some particularly choice flower? My plants are  used to fairly constant attention while I’m at home, will they be resentful or alienated by my long absences?

The upside of being away from home is that when I return, seeing the new blooms has a greater emotional impact. For instance, my rose ‘Cassie’ was covered with unopened buds when I left, but with lovely semi-double white flowers when I returned.

My rose ‘Cassie’ sits in front of the house. It’s a mid-size shrub rose with a light fragrance.

Actually, many of my roses took great leaps forward during my absence. ‘Sally Holmes’, now entering its third summer in my backyard, is just starting to hit its stride.

‘Sally Holmes’ has trusses of flowers that fade from blush to cream.

And the roses I planted on the backyard arbor are doing well. ‘Westerland’ has bloomed for the first time (this is its second summer), and ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ is coming into its own.

‘Westerland’

 I also grow two wild roses, Carolina Rose (Rosa carolina) and Illinois Rose (Rosa setigira). These bloom later in the summer. All the roses I grow are tough shrub roses or ramblers and require little pampering. 

Aside from the roses, I was very glad to see that the baptisia and salvia were now in full bloom.

Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis) is a great perennial. Beautiful pea-like flowers, and grows to shrub-like proportions. Only drawback is that it’s slow to achieve substantial size. Also, you can’t move it once it is settled in.
Salvia ‘May Night’ with Cosmos and Golden Alexander.

By the end of this coming week I’ll get to be a homebody again and spend more time in the garden, at least for a while. I can’t wait.

Painted Lady (I think) butterfly on nepeta.

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