Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sad, old garden

I spent yesterday evening after dinner planting about 10 variegated hostas on the bank of Husband's new bog garden. I have no idea what their cultivar name is because they were at our old house when we moved in. The new owners of my old garden emailed me a few days ago to say they'd been digging up and dividing the hostas, and I was welcome to come help myself if I wanted their extras. They'd be sitting at the top of the old driveway and I could get them anytime.

I was pleased at the prospect of free hostas because I'd been planning to get some to fill in some bog space anyway. I was also delighted to have a reason to go visit my old plants. I walk by there twice a day on the dog's daily 'round-the-block-to-poop tour, but I can only see the plants closest to the road. The beds right by the front door are too far away to see well.

So on our morning dog walk, Bean and I swung by the old house so I could see what was there to pick from. I wheeled the stroller up my former gravel drive, remembering the familiar crunch under the stroller tires. I walked up the little hill a bit, looking for the plants I expected to be in their full, explosive, spring growth. And...nothing. Or anyways, not much. Because all that watering the new owners didn't do last year during a solid month of temperatures in the upper 90's and no rain took its toll. These were pretty established plants, so they wouldn't have had to be watered every day. But they would've needed some extra attention that I guess the new owners just didn't have the time to give them, or perhaps didn't understand was necessary. No more ferns, dead nettles, columbines, spiderwort, bleeding hearts, or forget-me-nots.

And those poor hostas! They had dug up nearly all of them, as far as I could tell, and had tossed them into 2 big piles, all broken, dried out, and wilted. Ack! I gathered 2 flats' worth of mangled root balls and took them home, hoping that if I watered them heavily and planted them in full shade they'd make it. They are pretty sturdy plants, so they might be o.k., but it was just sad to see how little care had been taken with them.

Sigh. I know, this is over-the-top dramatic if you don't care about plants, but I put in literally hundreds of hours of hard, sweaty work in that old garden and I really hate to see it wasted and unappreciated. You sorta figure that if you plant perennials you've just improved some small part of the world in a permanent way, right? Maybe not. Next time, I'm bringing some plants with me, even if it is in the middle of summer.


Mama D said...

You aren't dramatic. Or maybe you are but then so am I. When you said you were moving all I could think about was your garden and how beautiful I imagined it to be - because - where are the pictures?? But then I thought, I sure hope the people who move in will appreciate and care for that garden. Do you know how much I would have KILLED to have had a nice yard with established gardening when I moved to this house. People are just plain idiots sometimes.

I hope you can save those poor hostas. At least they will survive if nothing else.

Sugarmama said...

I know, Mama D, I suck about posting pictures. I have a brain block when it comes to anything technological unless it will be useful to me everyday. My dear spouse has, of course, showed me to upload photos from our digital camera to a website that I can link to from here. Do I remember how to upload photos after his patient lesson? Not one bit.

Thanks for that info on your mom's recovery last year. That's about what my mom was told for a time-line, but you never know if that's going to be accurate or not.

Joan said...

Good luck with the hostas. Mine are like weeds. One minute they are sprouting then they've taken over.

Beth said...

they should be shot!!! Hostas are pretty sturdy, but COME ON!!! You have to show a LITTLE bit of care and concern.

I don't think you're dramatic at all. I talk to my plants and feel really bad when one dies...

Lauren said...

The people at one house we had lived in ripped out a large woodland garden filled with hostas and ferns and rhodies, and put in GRASS.

I've learned to try not to look back, but it's hard when you live so close.

Suburban Gorgon said...

Argh. I know that's got to be seriously annoying, because I know how hard you worked on that yard and I remember how beautiful it was.

DSB said...

Maybe they will let you come rescue some of the other plants as well? I hate when my stuff dies. But I still don't know how to take care of a lot of yeah. Nothing of mine ever lasts for very long, and I've willfully gotten the monstrous holly bushes cut down in our yard.

I understand how frustrating it must be.