Monday, August 1, 2011

Seattle Homesick Blues ...

The Seattle garden of Shelagh Tucker
My mind keeps roamin', my heart keeps longin', to be back in a Seattle garden ...
Apologies to Gary P. Nunn, Jerry Jeff Walker, et al ... but now that I'm home from the Fling, I am longing to be back in the Pacific Northwest.  Or to paraphrase GPN and JJW, I am home with the armadillo but I'd rather be back with the banana slug ...

Jenny Koester and Barbara Pintozzi in the Seattle garden of Jim and Suzanne Birrell
It would seem that I was overoptimistic in my stated intentions to post a picture a day from the PNW.  (Digression: egads, acronymitis is contagious ... this is what happens when I spend time around Carol of MDG.)  To return to my subject: my laptop never left its cozy travel sleeve while in Seattle.  What with touring so many beautiful and inspiring gardens, both public and private, and socializing with friends new and old, sleep won out over posting when I returned to my room at night.

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' in the Seattle garden of Christopher & Michelle Epping
Since I returned home, I've been playing garden catchup both inside and out.  The garden handled the lack of attention from the Head Gardener and me with only a few minor casualties. The self-sown Zinnias appear to be the most miffed at the lack of water and since there are seedlings aplenty coming up, I'll pull the manky elders out and allow the youngsters to take their place. I'm also cutting back my orange Crocosmia (I thought they looked pretty good until I saw how big they get in Seattle gardens).  As for the sundry and assorted pots in the courtyard and on the patios,   the NonGardener-in-Charge-of-Watering-Containers did an excellent job of keeping things hydrated.  She will doubtless be thrilled beyond words to learn that she has progressed to Stage 2 of the probationary period, which means she will be in charge of these pots at the end of August while the Head Gardener and I attend the GWA symposium in Indianapolis.

I was NOT foolish enough to bring home any Dahlias but I did think about it.
"... when a Texan fancies she'll take her chances, chances will be taken, that's for sure ..."

Due to "several rash and imprudent purchases" (to quote the Head Gardener) at various nurseries in the Seattle area, upon my return I had to improvise a makeshift holding area inside Wit's End, where the temperature is more like what the plants were used to in Seattle.  As usual, I got carried away by plant lust and threw caution to the wind.  Much muttering and shaking of head ensued on the part of the HG, even more when I decided at the last minute that I should mail my dirty clothes home and pack the suitcase with plants.  She has since been forced to admit that it was a wise decision: the plants spent far less time in the suitcase than my dirty clothes spent in Priority Mail boxes (12 hours versus 5 days). 
Sculpture seen at Dragonfly Farms Nursery
In addition to catching up on garden chores, daughterly duties have kept me busy since I got back.  I'd mentioned last fall that my mother was no longer able to drive due to a stroke in her left eye.  We saw a neurologist a few months ago and confirmed that she also has progressive Alzheimer's type dementia. She and I have been struggling to deal with that diagnosis, and emotions have run high on both of our parts, so my week away was a welcome respite for us both. It's not in the natural order of things for children to parent their parents but that's become a big part of my life these last few months. 

My time in Seattle was all that I'd hoped it would be and I plan to share more of it with y'all in the days to come.  Right now, though, it's time for this cowgirl to kick off her boots and wrassle herself into bed!


7 comments:

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

You caught me in the act of twanging the balls on that sculpture. It's funny how seeing familiar plants in Seattle makes ours at home look so puny. It was a wonderful trip and I'm glad I got to share it with you.

Caroline said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mother, Cindy. I love that you shipped your laundry home and packed your suitcase with plants -- I was wondering how you were getting them home! I know just what you mean about those crocosmia, and oh, those dahlias, so tempting! It was a pleasure to meet you at the Fling.

Carol said...

Wow what a trip! Wish I could go! So understand about the role reverseal with your Mom. I have had to do that in the past! Hope things go well. Been hot as all get out in Conroe and NO rain. Carol

Alison said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mom's health problems. It must be very difficult for both of you. I've never been in the situation of having to care for a parent, but I still can sympathize.

I really enjoyed meeting you at the Fling, and I'm thrilled that you had a good time here!

Gail said...

Cindy, It's hard to believe that just last week we were in Seattle. It was a wonderful trip and made more fun seeing you! Love your photos from above~I can see the garden beds are just packed with beautiful plantings. xogail

Kathy said...

I missed that birds in the nest sculpture. I really like that! It was so good to see you again in Seattle and I'm looking forward to Indianapolis.

Rose said...

You are a true gardener, Cindy: packing your plants and shipping home your laundry--that made me laugh:)

So sorry to hear about your mother. That is such a difficult diagnosis to hear for anyone; I wish both of you the best as you come to terms with this.