Monday, May 14, 2007

Tiptoe Through the Trillium

I woke up this morning to much secretive activity by my husband and daughter. Lots of whispers, the crinkle of tissue paper, the clanking of spoons and pans, and one very adamant order from my three-year-old. "Don't come downstairs Mom. We're not ready for you yet!" I drifted back to sleep and heard the front door close as they set off on some adventure.

A short while later I awoke to the gift of a picture frame made in pre-school, a pancake breakfast and a beautiful pot of unknown purple and white flowers purchased at the local flower shop. It was, of course, Mother's Day and it couldn't have started in a nicer way. The morning spilled into afternoon with lunch at my mother's place. I have to credit her with planting the seed that started my gardening obsession. She's a green thumb who's been planting whatever she wants wherever she wants it for as long as I can remember. Dinner would be at my in-laws' place near Waterdown, Ontario. That's where the gardener in me finally got my fix for the day: a walk through the woods to check out the wildflowers.

A gardener must take inspiration from wherever it appears, and nature serves it up like nothing else. Just look at this field of trilliums. I don't think I've ever seen so many in one place before.

In fact, I never thought much of Ontario's official flower because I've usually seen only one or two growing at a time. My reaction: "Oh, yeah. A trillium." My reaction today was decidedly different. More along the lines of "Wow!" The trillium had won me over.

If you've ever wondered about the effectiveness of mass plantings, look no further than these ferns. They are proof positive that just one type of plant placed in large groupings can be jaw-droppingly dramatic. I like ferns but am generally less excited about them than flowering perennials. But now I realize that the shady parts of my garden could look really awesome with just a few extra ferns.

Got swampy land? No problem. Try some Marsh Marigolds. I never even knew this plant existed until today.

It was a great Mother's Day that started with flowers and ended with flowers. In between, my daughter sang me a song about how much she loves me and then topped it off with "Roses are red, violets are blue. Sugar is sweet and so are you." What more could a mother ask for?

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