Well, this weekend I'd had enough and decided to clean up this little area at the front of the house. I knew Ben would be thrilled because while he doesn't enjoy doing that sort of yard work, and furthermore, even if he did like doing it, doesn't have the time for it right now, he definitely loves having it done and the yard looking nicer. It worked out perfectly, because the kids and I are discovering that we actually really enjoy cleaning up an area and planting it with flowers. On top of that, my dad, who truly does love to work in the yard, stepped in and roto-tilled the ground for us (tilling the soil by hand was NOT something I was looking forward to) so we could get the plants in easily, as well as gave input and an extra hand with the entire project.
A few years back I discovered that my dad always whistles when he's doing something he really enjoys. I don't know why I didn't know that all my life growing up, since I would often hear my dad whistle, but what always prompted the whistling had never occurred to me up until a few years ago. Anyway, I've learned a couple things that cause my dad to whistle without fail. My dad always whistles when he's playing golf. Also, he always whistles when he's working on a project outside, whether it's planting, showing the kids how to garden, or driving a tractor, somehow fixing up the outside to make everything nicer. When we worked on this spot by the house, I kept hearing that familiar whistle.
We planted lupines, peonies, black eyed susans, and something else I forget the name of but is supposed to attract hummingbirds. We get the occasional hummingbird by our house, but have not been able to get them to visit on a regular basis. Maybe this plant that's supposed to have bright red flowers, whatever it is, will be the draw that keeps those hummingbirds coming.
The funny thing is I have been terrified of perennials practically all my life. I know, weird phobia, right? Of course what I mean is I have always been afraid of trying to get them to grow. I've always had some idea in my head that I wouldn't be able to get the perennials to come back each year, and that they'd be hard to care for, and would never flower. Well, I realized a few days ago that other people did, in fact, have perennials that thrived in their gardens, and that they didn't have to buy flowers and replant every year. Furthermore, the look of the substantial plants with the huge flowers was not something that I could buy at the local nursery each year. Surely I am not such an idiot that I can't figure out how to get those flowering plants to grow- after all, thousands of people probably do it every year! Well, obviously I don't want to speak too soon about whether I have a green thumb or a black thumb, since time will tell, but buying the plants and getting them in the ground really was not a big deal. Let's wait and see if they decide to come back next year, though.