Are you there Margaret? It's me, Paige.

Today didn't start out with so much promise, even though the kids woke up, went downstairs and entertained themselves for at least 45 minutes without coming to let us know that, as the Babe likes to say, "It's MORNING TIME!". They were able to ignore us so successfully because Dido now knows how to turn on the television and put on a DVD; we have D'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis to thank for the brief quiet of the early morning.

When they manage to vidiot themselves in the morning, it's often difficult to motivate the kids to do anything else. (Surprise!) Today was no exception. The morning involved glue on the coffee table, Sharpie on the counter, and lots of shouts of "N.O." from Dido. Big fun.

After lunch, I finally managed to drag the two of them out of the house; I needed to pick up wine for the fundraiser I've been helping to organize, and I wanted to visit a local (plant) nursery to pick up some pansies and possibly some roses for our front flower beds.

For those who don't know me--I am not a gardener. I routinely tell people I have a black thumb, and it's true that historically I have been a plant-killer, just as it's true that prior to my becoming a mother, any time I attempted to hold an infant, it would start to scream. Perhaps these uh, qualities, are related.

In any case--while I am not a gardener, I have a longstanding affinity for the kind of domestic artistry promoted by the legendary ex con M. Stewart. I am not much for her recipes, but that crafty homekeeping, project stuff really turns me on. I read the magazine, even though every year I swear I am not going to renew my subscription because the content has become either repetitive or arcane. (Just how many uses for quilling paper can you come up with? I thought so.)

So let's just call my relationship with Martha love/loathe, and leave it at that. But I am intimately familiar with Martha, her mag, her writers and on and on. So when I learned that Margaret Roach, the former editor of MSL, apparently took an (early) retirement to return to her country house, which is, you guessed it, here in Columbia County, I was intrigued. Margaret, before taking over as the Martha mouthpiece, was a garden editor in New York, and she's gone back to her (forgive me, pun haters) roots up here, starting a (really wonderful) blog all about her (kind of obsessive) gardening interests, knowledge and practice. For an idiot like me, it's a godsend.

Yesterday, Margaret's recommedation sent me to an amazing local nursery. The kids LOVED it. If we'd had more room in the car and less caution (mine alone) we'd have come home with a trunk full of plants from succulents to ferns. Instead, I bought two flats of pansies and a fern Dido couldn't bear to leave behind.

When we got home (after a detour to the town playground) we got our hands really, really dirty, and planted a sweet pansy border along our forlorn (yes, UGLY) front flowerbed. We had a blast. Is it possible I'm going to begin to understand this digging in the earth thing, now that I have so much earth to dig in?


margaret said...

Hello, Paige, it's me, Margaret. Yes, I am here. I am so thrilled you enjoyed my beloved friends at Loomis Creek, and that Bob and Andrew (the owners) and I are helping welcome you into the wrecked-fingernail club.

swimgirlseries said...

So weird-- I say I have a black thumb too. Jim keeps anything alive that needsto be fed or watered. Kids, plants, pets.

Nicie said...

Jay recently sent me to the garden center for grass seed and potting soil. Despite the best efforts of the clerks to assist me, I returned with a bag of grass seed which Jay tells me would do for 50 acres (not our 3), and 5.6 cubic feet of growing medium, which I now have come to understand is a distant relative of, but very much not the same thing as, potting soil. Live and learn.

My special gardening talent seems to be clipping articles about obscure early-flowering perennials from Eastern Europe, and the latest in (not especially affordable) tree peonies. As Karl Marx said to each according to his abilities!

rebecca said...

You dug them up & took them in before the frost, yes???