Industry because I've been out in the garden;
hilarity because G has been 'assisting' me- planting acorns and rocks, renaming plants and digging holes for me with her yellow plastic sand shovel.
We've got some new additions to our garden family, namely a few different varieties of hostas, all in the blue/green ranges of foliage. Hostas are at once so verdant and luxurious and then so frowsty and Victorian-you half expect them to be eyeing your tank top and cut-off jeans gardening wardrobe with a disapproving eye, leaves rustling like long skirts. But I love them. I've got a learned appreciation for shade plants, especially up here in the woods, where oaks and redwoods reign supreme, and us gardeners are left scurrying about underneath, peering up at the sky through branches and muttering to ourselves, "partial to deep shade....definitely dappled. Yeah-definitely, definitely dappled" like Dustin Hoffman in 'Rain Man'. I think the hostas'll look grand with the CA natives dicentra formosa or Western bleeding heart, a sweet lil' groundcover, and Asarum caudatum, the wild ginger, which has the most startlingly ugly/beautiful flower, and is pollinated by.... (dum da dum!) banana slugs!
G helped me plant the hostas and there was much giggling over the funny bare root clumps that came in the packages-"Are we going to plant SPAGHETTI?" she repeated endlessly, and then renamed them pasta instead of hosta. She's very silly. And very punny. Definitely B's side of the family...
Also joining the neighborhood are a bed of peonies, 'Sarah Bernhardt' and another that I'm forgetting. I'm nervous about these peonies, mainly because I've never seen them grow here in SC, and because they are so classically English, and therefore a little intimidating and slightly snooty.....(sorry, Susan!) And fussy. Western Garden says to prepare the planting site 'at least several days' before the peony crowns are planted, with plenty of well-rotted manure or compost and a fertilizer high in phosphorus. Sheesh! It's like the queen is coming to tea. And I'm pretty sure they require quite cold winters, so I might be out there next January with a tray of ice cubes. If I am, B, please bring me the above picture so I can remember that they are worth the fuss (not to mention the phosphorus, manure and ice cubes you get in your cuffs.)
But they are just about incomparable for lush blooms and beautiful foliage. We're interplanting them with strawberries for G, and lots of self-sowing California poppies (Eschscholtzia californica) that just sort of 'mingle' with everyone else. They really know how to work a room.......
(thanks to 1bluecanoe, pictoscribe, IwateBuddy & David Lev for the hosta, wild ginger, peony and CA poppy pics, respectively. Lovely lovely.)