My Garden, My Friends

All the plants I nurture and grow are my friends and I often talk kindly to them. Yes, I’m one of those people, a somewhat crazy plant person. I’m almost at the point that I can’t accept any new ones in my house. But outside, there are numerous native plants that I yearn to experiment with!

As I water the plants in my gardens I’m reminded of my human friends. I think that’s one of the reasons that I love to garden so much. 

While watering the portulaca plant that I put in an old creamery can that I found in the woods, I’m reminded of my girlfriend Kim who first turned me on to that plant. Mine got chomped by the deer a month ago, and after covering it with chicken wire it is just starting to have buds, and I’m so excited to see what colors and patterns will be expressed in its flowers. 

In the garden in front of my house, I’m reminded of my girlfriend Margueritte who used to be a neighbor when I lived in Arvada. She used to brew beer and I used to refer to her as “Beer Goddess,” and in alignment with that passion she grew a variety of hops that crawled up strings that led up to her roof. She often shared seeds with me, and I found some seeds I had purchased when we used to hang out 10 years ago. I decided to create a small experimental garden where I threw all these old seeds, not thinking I’d get much. But in this tiny 2 x 4 foot area I see an abundance of carrots, perhaps a pumpkin or gourd, some delicata squash that I had eaten and saved the seeds and various other plants that are yet to reveal their identities. Who knows, I may see some california poppies, or beans or black eyed susans, we’ll see…

Moving along the front of the house, I’m delighted to see the burgundy Hollyhocks blooming. My neighbor Gretchen up the street gave me the seeds a couple years ago, and she had said I may not see blooms until year three. But, joy of joys, I have gorgeous blooms now, after 2 years! 

In front of the hollyhocks there are sages and black eyed susans that have volunteered and have been grown from seeds, as well as vivid blue and white larkspur that my friend Carolyn gave me the seeds of a couple years ago, as well as “love in the mist” which have not come up yet. Carolyn is a mountain biking and skiing friend that I’ve known for over 20 years. I know her from skiing at Loveland and she teaches at Vail out of the Lionshead base area whereas I teach out of the Golden Peak base area a few miles to the east.

To the right of the hollyhocks and in another area in a ledge above the rest of the garden, I’m treated to a bounty of plants given to me by my friend Annie whom I’ve mountain-biked with for the last 5 years or so. Annie has a degree in Landscape Architecture and she’s a retired art teacher. I’ve heard that her garden in the Denver metro area is ledgendary. She also makes gorgeous jewelry, does face painting at fairs and she works at a golf course because she loves that sport. In the fall, she would often show up to rides with clumps of plants that she was thinning/dividing from her garden. I have one shasta daisy plant next to the hollyhock and another HUGE shasta daisy plant that has crocosmia mixed in with it. In case you didn’t know, shasta daisies need to be divided every few years to maintain their health, and the crocosmia is a magical and wondrous plant that grows generous blades a couple inches wide and 3+ feet long, and the blossoms are like 8 – 12 mini bright red flowers within a flower that burst out from a central stem. The flowers she gave me in years past have come back more brilliant and vigorous after their winter’s sleep. It also could be that I’m feeding them regularly, as well.

Writing these words, I realize I must send my human friends pictures and notes of appreciation. It’s something I love about gardeners, they always want to share their bounty!

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