Garden Therapy, Part 1

Yesterday was May 1, May Day if you’re old enough to remember when schoolchildren used to dance around maypoles. I celebrated by setting out my first summer flowers.  It’s been a cold spring, and I turned down a sister outing to the nursery a week or so ago, thinking I wasn’t quite ready to spring into summer annuals.

But turning the calendar page to May combined with temperatures in the low 80s this week got me in the mood to plant. I finally felt the need for garden therapy.

I love digging in the dirt. I guess it’s just the old country girl in me, but there’s something restorative about putting in a bed of flowers.  Communing with nature, I forget the minor irritations of life.

IMG_1140This week’s garden therapy began with a trip to Allen’s Nursery. I felt like a kid in a candy store as I surveyed all the types of flowers, rows upon rows of colorful options. I was almost giddy and momentarily forgot what I’d come to buy, a flat of my tried and true begonias.

Which kind do I always plant? For some reason, the begonias sold at Allen’s all have alcohol names: Whiskey, Gin, Vodka, Brandy, Rum.  Last year’s cocktail was a red variety, and none of the selections this year seemed to be quite the one.  I finally picked a bright pink named Brandy.


Back home, my husband volunteered to rototill my begonia bed. He’s not into garden therapy like I am but will do small jobs that require power equipment.  I spaced, dug holes, planted, and rearranged the pine straw.  These baby begonias have a lot of growing to do to catch up with crops from previous years.



I did yield to one impulse buy at the nursery. Pink petunias were calling me. I had temporary amnesia about my past struggles with keeping this flower alive and healthy.  Garden therapy is counterproductive when plants die.  But it’s May and hope springs eternal during planting season.


I’ll talk about my vegetable gardening in the next blog, Part 2 of Garden Therapy.




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