Naturalist John Muir wrote, “Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.” His words beautifully capture my day. Taking advantage of gorgeous weather and a half price sale at a local garden center, I started my spring gardening in earnest today, planting in metal containers in the backyard.
Spring is my favorite time of year. Trees bloom or leaf out, the days are warmer and longer and my garden awakens. Most of my backyard paradise is planted in herbs and perennials that return year after year. However, I have 30 plus containers that I fill with colorful annuals. I officially launched the gardening season today, beginning with a cluster of metal buckets and tubs.
Colorful annuals ready for planting
Blank “canvases”, ready for color.
I have enjoyed using a variety of metal containers in the backyard. They are grouped around the brickio, tucked into corners, perched on vintage chairs and even attached to the fence. Most of these industrial planters were flea market finds. I love the two big washtubs that I have, and I started by planting in one of those, filling it with canary yellow and midnight blue calibrachoa.
Next I filled Annie’s tub. My cousins gave me this oval metal tub after my aunt passed. It means a great deal to me, as Aunt Annie was a gardener too. In honor of her July 4th birthday, I plant red, white and blue flowers in Annie’s tub every year, changing the plants according to what I can find. This year the tub was planted with red pentas, and white and brilliant blue lobelia.
White portulaca went into the metal watering can and shared space in a bucket with red gazania. The gazanias filled the remaining buckets except for the tall metal container. Yellow calendula is coming up in that canister, sprouting from last year’s seed.
I was pleased with the results. I only filled six containers, but that’s okay. It is a start and like traveling, the joy is in the journey, enthusiastic joy, as John Muir called it. Although thunderstorms are in tomorrow’s forecast, I hope to get several more containers planted.
I ended this perfect spring day, spent working in the garden, by lighting a fire in the fire pit. There is still something so magical to me about laying out kindling and bark and setting it ablaze. The sun disappeared as my little fire crackled merrily. I fed it with larger branches and then short split logs, well seasoned.
Such contentment and deep bliss filled me, sitting there in the backyard garden, watching the flames dance. Overhead the first twinkling star appeared, a tiny flame in the darkening sky. “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight…” I softly chanted aloud. So many times I whispered those words as a child. So many of those wishes have come true.
I smiled as I sent another wish up….up with the smoke curling from the fire…and out among the stars.