So, there is still snow in those bits of the yard (Northernmost exposure, and corners in the South East and South West) that get the least amount of Winter sun. Our serious winds have abated a bit, leaving lots of kindling spread across the yard, but it's still bitter cold. My beloved Potomac River is iced over, with circles, swirls, and geometric cracks marking the ice. The dirt beneath my yard is frozen for at least a few inches down. The Western sky is on display as early as 3:30 pm. The snowdrops haven't even sprouted and the hellebores (Lenten Roses, to the xians) aren't yet showing any buds. (Landscape Guy's hellebores have budded, but his seem to usually be 3 weeks ahead of mine, although we live 5 minutes away from each other.) Everything's cut back to the ground and mulched over.
But in this old Witch's heart, it's mid-April and I am out digging in the newly-warmed earth with my ergonomic spade, planting BLACK PETUNIAS in the front cottage gardens and the pots that sit on the back deck.
I'm not much of a fan of annuals. A plant has to be pretty special for me to be willing to buy it over and over again -- not to mention doing the work of planting it over and over again -- every year. I grow some daturas and marigolds from seed each year and I buy a few herbs, mainly basil, on an annual basis, but my strong preference is for perennials.
But my entire garden scheme is black and white, and it's often much easier to find white flowers than black. And I've been reading for months that this Spring would herald the arrival of a truly black (aka, not just dark purple or dark red, but really black) petunia. And this afternoon, when I arrived home from work, there was the Burpees Porn Emporium, er, the Burpee's garden catalogue. Now, I know that Burpees is kind of like Disney or GE or McDonalds. And I am careful each year, I am, to spread my purchases out among a number of local, heirloom, and organic seed sellers. But Burpees has, I'm not going to lie to you (heh, I'm not going to lie to you NOW THAT I'VE GOT MINE -- beforehand would have been a different story, and there's not a real gardener in the world who would blame me, either), Burpees had the black petunias. Burpees calls them Black Cat Petunias.
And so I got on the phone, in the midst of Mercury Retrograde, and I ordered almost 50 of those black beauties. And when the nice lady who first answered the phone mistakenly cut me off (Like I Said: Mercury Retrograde), I called right back, got a nice young man, and put the order through again, this time getting both the $5 off for a big order and the free shipping.
There won't be a day between now and mid-April when I don't imagine planting those black flowers. But they'll be in my front cottage gardens come Beltane and I couldn't be happier. That's one of the wonderful things about having a garden: the anticipation.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."