I love a challenge.
The challenges at work are daily, thats what makes it so exciting and fun. The challenges at home are many (those with teenagers understand that as much as anyone), getting thru challenges is what family is all about.
The challenges I give myself, however, are my favorite kind.
I can start planning my own garden now that there is a bit more time in the week to not be at work. Whoo hoo! The longer days help as well. (cartwheels being done that you can only imagine)
Each year my home garden is a little different, new plants, trees, or shrubs are added. There are new varieties to try. Growers give me sample plants to 'not take care of' , and then comment on what I think about the performance of the 'newbie'. (I have mentioned I'm a lucky gardener, yes?) When we have something especially wonderful and new I gather samples of each up, and let my fellow employee/gardeners choose 1 or 2, with the promise to let me know what they think of the plant they chose. ( I get 1 or 2 myself) :)
The constant in my garden is color. Lots of it. Colorful perennials,colorful annuals, and colorful trees and shrubs. My favorite flowers are usually in the blue tones,and I accent them with other colors. Last year were a lot of hot pinks and corals with my favorite blues. (There were a few volunteer 'classic white' zinnias that reseeded in the lawn that made it in as well. We will mention them quickly and in lower-case-small-type, in the hopes they don't realize they shouldn't have come back, and they will do it again this year.)
This year I've set myself to a challenge. I'm only going to use white this year. The only new perennials to come into the garden will have to be white, mostly white, or have no flower and be a greenish or white color. (no colorful leaves allowed) The annuals will have to be whites, ( & greens or greys). The newbie plants and testers will have to be white, or no flowers, and only greens or greys.
What was I thinking?
I thought I'd like the challenge...mostly 'cause it wouldn't be too hard. (after all I have tons of stuff to choose from at work, right?) Wow. I'm suffering from serious color withdrawal. I hate this challenge. I think I would change my mind now if I hadn't told a few others of my idea. (me and my big mouth!)
I can't look at my faves in the same way, and I swear they aren't treating me as in years past. The blues (salvia, ageratum, columbine, convolvulous, and others) look at me and stick their tongues out..."you can't use me...nah nah naaa na nah!". The pinks, purples, and yellows? They aren't quite as rude as the blues..they adjust their leaves to look at someone else, and give me the cold shoulder. The coleus, probably my favorite annual, are generally lukewarm about the challenge, likely because some in their rank and file can still be considered.
The white flowers aren't helping. No one is saying "pick me, pick me!" I will have to convince the white flowers and myself I want them to be in my garden this year. I have been sneaking up on them and perusing quietly. I guess because they seem a little more on the quiet side than their colorful cousins, I am quiet myself? (whaaaaat? you say?... ok...I talk to plants)
I'm starting slow. I've been fondling the leaves of the 'New Look' and 'Lacy Leaf 'Dusty Miller, they will work, no flowers, and they are white-ish. (ok, I also fondle plants, but most of them enjoy the occasional 'pet') The white Impatiens? No? Maybe they are too normal...but they are very pretty. The ornamental grasses are very pretty this year...they are colorful with out having flowers, and those I can consider are in shades of green and grey and are awesome. The grasses textures will be nice, too. The lime thyme is interesting (and smells SOOOO good!). Oooh, and the White Queen Cleome...hmm..nice. Perilla 'Vanilla', might be a nice addition to the rear of one of th beds, and I've never grown it before. " 'Plectranthus 'Nicodemus', you might come home with me this week." (Chitweed, stop talking to the plants...the customers are staring again, K?) Hosta...well,need I say more?...I can choose from many of the hosta and have a white flower to go with the loveliest of all leaves.
Maybe this won't be soooo bad?
I love a challenge.