In the beginning

Sometime last week I planted two Sarcococca ruscifolia, fragrant sweetbox, along the main path through the garden. The smell is fresh and bright, and very welcome in the depressing lingering chill of February. They are planted next to a Hydrangea quercifolia which was suffering in a corner near the shed, leaning against the trunk of a dying tree, reminding me of myself at the end of the day: twisted, limp, utterly fatigued. I pruned it up and moved it to the new bed along the path; already things are looking up. The bark is as lovely as all the garden mags say it is. I hope that my amateurish attempts at pruning do not destroy the graceful habit I understand it will take if I let it.

I am a miserable garden record keeper. I’m hoping this blog will do what all of the garden diaries given to be by well-meaning and thoughtful, but misunderstanding, friends have failed to do. Garden diaries, I think, are useless unless the gardener herself designs and prepares them. Otherwise, they are utterly limited by what the publisher imagines I want to track or do with the volume. At this point, I don’t need numerous pages to commit my vegetables’ behavior to history. I garden in shade. And I am too busy in the summer to water any vegetables anyway, which does tend to limit their productivity.

I also hope that this online journal will permit me eventually to discard all of those wretched plastic plant tags that are cluttering up the buckets in my shed. I keep them, thinking I will want to know the variety of whatever I have planted in case I need to go back and get more. But will I be able to find the tag handily, whenever I get that urge to dash off to the nursery? Of course not. Fingers crossed that this will work.

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