Once I determined it was time for a little life in the hanging plant arena, the next step was to figure out what to shop for. Last time I asked for suggestions, I got some good ones, but that was all for Fall plants, and, well, let’s not talk about Fall. I’m still in recovery from winter, after all, and so plan to relish the warmer weather of Spring and, yes, even Iowa’s celebrated hot-and-humid summer.
My friend Amy was visiting for the weekend, so I dragged her to the closest Earl May to peer at flowers. “This one’s pretty,” I said. “Do you think it’s a trailing plant?”
The label confirmed, though, that the plant would allegedly trail. It was a container of Million Bells in a color riding the rails between pink and purple, and I snagged the healthiest looking container of lavender bacoba to stick alongside it. I loved my white bacoba last summer, and I know for sure that trails.
Did you hear that? I know something for sure about gardening. Bacoba trails. So there.
“Is that going to be enough?” Amy asked.
I stared at the two plants in my hand and tried to visualize the hanging basket. I figured with room to breathe, this ought to be about perfect, but suddenly my confidence ebbed.
“You think I need more?” I asked.
“I have no idea,” she said.
My confidence returned. “This is good,” I said.
Plus, it was $10 worth of plants. That’s plenty for the hanging basket.
Inside the garden center, I tracked down an actual employee, and held up my plants. The weather was still a bit frightful, I said, and I wanted to ensure I could actually keep them alive if we got a sudden cold snap. She told me to bring the basket in when it got cold, and I nodded solemnly, fully aware that the reality is I would probably forget. But for just that moment, she and I believed that I was a conscientious gardener. One who remembers to water her hanging basket in the first place.
After Amy took off for her return journey home, I took the hanging basket out back and got to planting. The flowers nestled in together, replacing the dead plants I tossed in the compost bin. And when I hung the basket up on the front porch, it seemed that finally, Spring had arrived.