Saturday, April 12, 2008


In terms of weather, Spring really arrived today. It was warm and sunny, a little windy in the morning, but in the afternoon just delightful. I bought some potting soil and potted some plants that I bought earlier this week. I do container gardening on my deck.

I used four hanging baskets I had last year and put four fuchsia starts in each, then I made two pots with pansies and one with peppermint. In a half-barrel, I put four starts of spreading petunias. I have not grown petunias before; we'll see how they do. I trimmed back some creeping jenny, and cut back a tea rose that gave forth quite a few whiteflies as I worked. I fertilized all my new plants, plus the six lavender I still have from last year, the herbs in a half barrel (I pulled out the parsley because it was overgrown, leaving sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and tarragon). The last thing I did before going indoors was spray the tea rose with vicious chemicals that I hope will get rid of the whitefly. I also kept that pot a little away from the others in the hope the whiteflies will not infest everything else.

I have motivation to plant and tend my deck plants this season, because I know that later in the summer out-of-state siblings are going to visit. I like to make the deck a nice place to hang out when the family is going to get together. Years when I know that no one from out of state is coming, sometimes I still make a nice deck, sometimes not.

They say the weather will go back to cold and rainy tomorrow. We'll see. Anyway, those April showers, they bring the flowers that bloom in May, so it's not raining rain, you know, it's raining violets.

According to Wikipedia, the violet and the pansy are the same flower, or at least the pansy is a type of violet. I never knew that. I always thought violets were some flower that grew only in England, as it is in English novels that I have most often seen them mentioned. But I guess they just call pansies violets over there, or we call violets pansies over here. So I have actually grown many violets in my day without even knowing it.

In Little Women, Beth embroiders pansies on slippers for Mr. Lawrence, and in his thank you note he says that heart's ease is one of his favorite flowers. I love folk names for flowers.

And, I often remember when considering the term "pansy," in the first draft of Gone with the Wind, and up until quite close to publication, Scarlett's name was Pansy. Can you imagine? Another literary Pansy is Isabel Archer's step-daughter in Henry James's Portrait of a Lady. In her case, the name is appropriate.


Anonymous said...

good luck on your potted plants!

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Janette Kok said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Arlene! And thanks for visiting my blog.