Monday, May 16, 2011

Green thumb? Maybe

The response to my last post was overwhelming in a wonderful way. What a lovely bunch of people in my life! Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. That's not the last you'll hear of my time in Switzerland. So many people and places I have to introduce you to! There are a few posts in the works, but none ready at the moment. 

Oh flowers.... one of my favorite things about Lausanne were the fresh flowers sold at the weekly Saturday morning farmer's market.  Every week it was a feast for the eyes, the stalls bursting with armfuls of jewel-colored blossoms. I never indulged but only because I would have had to buy them before the market closed at noon and carry them around until my evening train ride home.

But it wasn't just in the city, all the families I knew had such beautiful landscaping and vegetable gardens, regardless of how big or small their yard. My host family had the loveliest array of potted plants.  They do not have a large garden by American standards but they made excellent use of the space. Aside from the flowers there were potted herbs, zucchini, tomatoes, even a fig tree. Not to mention the amazing variety of fruit trees and flowers in the lush garden of another of my favorite Swiss families.

I've always enjoyed plants but have never been interested in growing them myself, for two reasons. One, we have a huge rabbit problem. They eat everything remotely delicious looking, meaning any blooms are gone soon after they appear.  Two, maintaining flowers means pulling weeds, and pulling weeds means potentially infecting myself with poison ivy. Which means temporary facial disfigurement and the use of steroids to make them go away. It's just a long, itchy slope into drug dependence.

But now I've been inspired.  May has been rather rainy and cool, so not many nice days to get out and plant things. Today was not especially pleasant but my mom and I went to a local nursery and wandered about, immersed in all things flora. What looked to be a small patch of trees from the road turned out to be an enchanting woodland paradise. I immediately pictured the front porch surrounded by white and pink English tea roses, or in the back under the windows, a stunning rainbow of purple dianthus and blue hydrangeas. The dream was shattered as soon as I saw the prices of these nursery gems.  Since I'm not operating on Martha Stewart's budget, I was forced to fill my floral needs at the garden center of the nearby grocery store.

Nevertheless, we came home with a pleasing carful of verbana, salvia, fuschia, as well as ranuculus and dahlia bulbs, and a few of them even made their way into the ground before the evening was done. It's early yet, but this could be the start of a future in award-winning gardening for me. Or it could be a really expensive waste of time. We'll see.  In the meantime, I'll be sitting out in landscaping with a shotgun in case the rabbits get any ideas. Wascally wabbits.

That's right, I'm the Elmer Fudd of the Home and Garden Network.


  1. très bien! le jardinage c'est bon pour les yeux et la tête! :)

    I think I would love to have rabbits jumping around my garden!!

    bisous, Audrey

  2. Audrey, je suis d'accord complètement! :)

    i suppose the rabbits are better than the chickens, eh? :)

  3. Good luck! I hope the rabbits leave you alone! You need a dog running around in the yard to scare them off. ;)


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