Six on Saturday: Small Spurts

Hosta have begun to bloom in our garden

Sometimes procrastination is a choice, and other times a necessity.  I grew up in a household where ‘procrastination’ was treated like any other ‘sin’ we were meant to avoid, and so I practiced it regularly; especially when the alternative to work involved a bit of fun.

Having spent my childhood, youth and middle age working against deadlines, it just comes naturally now.  At some point they become scaffolding rather than fences.  The diary and ‘to-do’ list map the future and justify the past.  And so, there is some psychic pain involved in ignoring the list and putting off, indefinitely, things you need and want to do.

Hydrangea quercifolia

But not so much pain as in doing one’s precious projects with an injured back.  The weather turned perfect for gardening again this week.  I found the scented Pelargoniums I’ve been wanting and bought an entire flat of them last Sunday.  The Caladiums are ready to go out and the rain returned to perfectly water every bit of the garden.  And I’ve spent this beautiful week mostly indoors with heating pads and an ever-dwindling supply of Alleve.

I lifted too much, held it too long, and then twisted the wrong way early Monday morning while constructing some new container plantings.  I knew what I’d done right away but stayed at it to finish up those things I needed to do, clean up and drive home. 

Iris pseudata

There’s no mystery about why many dedicated gardeners also have issues with backs, knees and wrists.  One minute we’re lugging around bags of this and that and the next we’re wondering whether we can stand up without assistance.  The only remedy is rest while everything heals, and some gentle Yoga stretches.  I’ve been catching up on my reading, doing a little writing, and watching the Caladiums grow leggy again this year in their nursery boxes in the garage.

My partner has doggedly kept up with the presumptuous bamboo spikes still shooting up throughout the lower garden.  When I finally followed him outside on Thursday, gingerly picking my way down the hill, I was amazed to see at least a dozen bamboo monsters lined up for the squirrels.  Each was at least 6” in diameter and 3’-5’ long.  We marvel at their speed of growth.  They have had plenty of rain to fuel them, and the squirrels can no longer eat enough to stay ahead of the supply.  Maybe there is some connection to the owls that have taken to hanging out in our yard…?

I finally went back outside on Thursday and made rounds of the garden because my new camera arrived.  I had to play with it a bit and see what it can do.  Never mind that it was between showers on another misty, grey day. 

The one great advantage this one has over my trusty Canon SX220 Power Shot that I’ve loved for so long is that its lens is clear and unscratched.  I’ve been working around some serious scratches these last several years.  I could see the difference immediately with the new camera, which is a Cannon SX 230, still with an automatic 14X optical zoom lens.

This is one of the first pots I re-worked this spring. I’m using a lot of this bright violet red geranium this year. If you’re wondering why I haven’t clipped the flowers off of the Coleus, it is because hummingbirds love them.

Time heals most things, even if it takes longer than we expected.  It is amazing what can be accomplished in small spurts of effort.  I have begun finding small things to do to get back in the game, and expect to get those scented geraniums, Caladiums and new ferns planted soon.  Lugging pots around may take a bit longer, but I’m carrying clippers in my pocket once again.  Finding interesting things going on the garden to photograph was easy this week.  Choosing just six to share was as difficult as always.

Portulaca and Oxalis, the first photo I took with the new camera
With appreciation to The Propagator, who hosts Six on Saturday each week.

You might enjoy my new series of posts, Plants I Love That Deer Ignore.

Visit Illuminations Each Day for a daily garden photo and a quotation.



  1. Sounds like you do a better job of being philosophical and sensible about a bad back than I ever manage. I always try to do too much too soon. Hope it clears up very soon. That is an exquisite Iris.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much, Jim. It took me years of trying to do too much to soon to learn to give it time to heal. This is an aggravation of an old injury, and I still push the limits…. The Iris is a fairly new hybrid type where the European Iris pseudacorus is crossed with Iris ensata. Since the yellow flag Iris is classed as invasive in our area, this is a substitute that is supposed to be sterile. This is the third year I’ve had it and I like it more every year. Take care-


  2. It’s very easy to hurt one’s back whilst gardening. Doesn’t stop us for long though! I enjoyed seeing your photos of lush spring growth.

    Liked by 1 person

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