The dictionary defines spring fever as a feeling of restlessness, excitement, or laziness brought on by the coming of spring. Gardeners also succumb to this malady, but for us there are other symptoms. By and large we gardeners are practical, well as practical as dirt, but when spring comes something happens, and all prudence disappears. We buy plants, and forget the economy.
At my fifth garden lecture this very spring, I noticed everyone present was entranced by the speakers’ flowery description of a particular plant. How did I know others were also effected? At the following plant sale, there was a mass of gardeners on a quest. Like the famous bride dress sale in New York City, all were determined to get the praised Nicotiana mutabilis. This flower, the speaker claimed, had completely made her woodland garden. Shoulder to shoulder, all gave up good gardening manners to achieve this prize. I hung back too long and missed the last plant. I felt sad, even when I reminded myself that the day before I had never heard of the plant.
So, I did what any sensible gardener would do, I bought the aforementioned rose with the beguiling name, and a lovely geranium called ‘Happy thoughts.’ I figured I had covered multiple good vibes.
The rose, the ‘Secret’, is suited for coastal areas because it is not prone to rust or powdery mildew, and it blooms well even through summer heat waves. I tell myself it is a practical purchase since it is so resilient. The flowers are fragrant, and they have are a lovely cream accented with pink tinted edges, sort of like the peace rose. I excuse my purchases by thinking if I don’t win the lottery and look like Demi Moore by June at least I will have flowers. Did I mention my strong suit is logic?
As a gardener writer I have the chance to see many public and private gardens year round, but spring brings all the best garden tours. In fact, I kiss my family goodbye on Saturday morning, and they don’t see much of me until Sunday. I bring home cooked pizza from my favorite store as a peace offering.
But really who could blame me? So many tours, so little time! Each garden I see becomes my new favorite, and I mentally begin rearranging my yard. Be aware of plant- itis.
This ailment strikes you in a springtime nursery. You can be certain you have it when what you plan to spend and what you actually spend are as off as the AIG accounting books. Thoughts of a unified, harmonious garden with select plants repeated for harmony fly out of your head as fast as hummingbird wings beat. You grab one of this new plant and one of that, and before you realize it your cart is a wild hodgepodge of plants.
I have spring fever bad. But, my garden is luscious with blooms, and promise. And, I try to restrain myself. Robin Williams, the famed comedian said, “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”