The main thing I’m…

The main thing I'm doing today is SAJA's Town Hall in Chicago -- should be interesting. Other than that, just puttering around the house, cooking and cleaning and trying to take it easy.

I have yet ANOTHER damn cold -- yesterday, I got a sniffly nose and started sneezing, just when I was almost recovered from the last cold (#2 in a series, if you're counting). I was in a bitter and miserable mood yesterday, because it just felt so unfair. I feel so much sympathy right now for people who live with chronic illness. It's so much harder to get through the day without snapping at Kevin or the kids when I feel like crap. And the colds have just been endless this winter. But at least I can still expect that someday, winter will end, and I will be healthy again. Something to hold on to.

One thing that's been brightening my week are the spring flowers showing up at the grocery store. I've had a little pot of pink hyacinths blooming on my dining table for a week, filling the room with their heady scent, and another little pot of pink-flowering oxalis (shamrock plant) on my desk. I took Kavi with me to Trader Joe's yesterday, and we came home with a bundle of early daffodils and a pot of dark pink tulips (she insisted on the latter). They brighten my spirits every time I look at them.

I also spent some time on the Dutch Gardens website yesterday and ordered some flowers to start in my barren front yard. Mostly shade-tolerant and entirely perennials (Japanese burnet, purple dragon lamium, sugar & spice foamflower, noble spirit aruncus, pink lily-of-the-valley, amethyst myst coral bells (heuchera), winterglow bergenia, old-fashioned bleeding heart, raspberry splash pulmonaria, superba campanula, double blue balloonflower, culver's root). I just got one plant of each, which isn't going to look all that great initially -- it's going to be a very sad and spotty front yard. (We'll have some shrubs as well, including evergreens, and at least one small tree.) But I'm hesitant to spend a lot of money on plants when I'm not sure which ones will do well in my yard, so at least my current plan is to just try things out and once I know what's successful where, then I can fill them in as necessary (perhaps next year). Some of the perennials should also spread, so that may help as well.

I hope this isn't a stupid plan. I've done a lot of gardening at this point, but almost entirely in containers; I don't have a good sense yet of how to manage a full yard. We had a front and back yard with gardens at the Oakland house, but that was a mature garden -- all planted already, and mostly just needing a little tending. This is starting almost entirely from scratch, with just a few shrubs and trees that have survived the renovation process.

I did get a few sun plants too (claudette dahlia, summer beauty allium, blueberry sundae daylily, candy mountain foxglove (pictured above), creme de cassis hollyhock, gabrielle calla), but tried hard to restrain myself as I really don't have nearly as much full sun as I would like. I'm hoping we can trim a few more branches from the parkway trees to get a little more sun in the front yard. We'll see.

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