Friday, February 18, 2011

Shelter Gives Life - A Zone 4 Gardener Discoveres a Zone 5 Niche

I'm a northern gardener living in what we gardeners call zone 4.  I've even learned that parts of my yard are zone 5, or even warmer!  Not really uncommon, but my own serendipitous discovery first occurred in the late 90's. 

I had placed an order for some perennials from a company that sent you free plants if your purchase met a prescribed minimum amount.  While it seems a handy way to purge their overstock, it's not generally an effective strategy when your target audience is from multiple zones.
I wasn't after the free goods, in this case an incredibly gorgeous Peruvian lily meant for zones 7-10.  That is very far from my back yard.  In fact, isn't that tropical?  Well, it would be for this Scandinavian-blooded northerner.  When it arrived with my other plants, I planted it on the east side of my home.  I figured we might as well enjoy one summer.  That delicate-looking lily came back for three summers!
 You see, up here our winds rarely blow from the east.  Nestled up next to the house it was sheltered and protected from any wind at all.  There's probably a wonderful story of it's own in there, but listening to the blustery February wind howling outside my window as I type these words, it's a very lovely memory by itself.  I long to get my hands back into the cool, black earth.  Picking weeds sounds like a joy.  Now, what did I do with that Burpees catalogue?

Don't overlook a warmer zone that you may have tucked somewhere on your homestead!

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As long as I'm on this journey, rambling through life's exhilarating highs and trudging heavily amongst it's incapacitating lows, I might as well share whatever may be gleaned from my little bits of wisdom and my many missteps. No room for judgment from this broken mama. I'm writing from my heart: raw, open, messy, but saved. And I'm still thanking God!