I went on a Jaunty shopping spree recently... and not a stitch of wardrobe-related stuff was purchased.  Who doesn't have a love of beautiful things? That love can extend to the world around you, including the very yard of the home you live in. Gardening isn't for everyone, and it's definitely subject to moods -- I didn't feel like doing much yard work last year when Indy was sick, we just wanted to enjoy time we had with her, so everything around us certainly suffered. But it's a new year, and I have a new outlook on life (with a new fuzzy friend), and that inevitably translates to a need to grow and blossom.

We have a big yard. That's one of the main reasons we chose the house we've now lived in for over 10 years. And it's one of the nice things about living in Duvall -- the space is affordable enough to have the luxury of a big yard, full of trees and greenery. From the start, it's been a learning experience, planting things, learning what grows well not only in this area (Seattle and the surrounding area is considered Zone 8a, if you're wondering), but our yard in particular, which tends to be shady in a lot of areas -- good for the summer when it's hot, but you need to choose plants that aren't starving for that constant Vitamin D. 

I've bought plenty of plants at nurseries and hardware stores, but one of my favorite places to shop for bulbs, which grow really well here, is Brecks. I've been a longtime customer; I'd say every daffodil, hyacinth and tulip to sprout up in our yard has been from this place over the years. It seems weird to buy live plants online, but bulbs are especially easy, since you're getting the root bulb, not the grown plant, when it's sent, and frankly, the prices are dang good. I get the biggest bulk order of tulips, daffodils and crocuses I can find, for the best price, just to fill the yard with blooms. They typically send the bulbs during early spring or fall, when it's cool enough to send the roots and bulbs out in the mail. They may not look like much, but think of these as potential energy, waiting to explode -- Color Bombs! 

The nice thing about bulbs is that they're very forgiving, even in years when you're not able to tend to your garden, they'll find a way to bloom. And they often propagate, making new little bundles of bulbs at the root, so over time, your garden will grow on its own. Our garden was sorely lacking in love, so I took advantage of one of Brecks' many seasonal sales, and got a bunch of flowering bulbs and more hosta plants. It's an exercise in Imagination Cap-wearing, planting these humble roots and onion-like bulbs into the earth, and trying to envision what the yard will look like the following season. Even though I won't see the fruits of this year's gardening labor until next year, that's OK -- I'm spending this year preparing the yard, cleaning beds, and making way for the year not yet upon us, and that's probably why gardening is so therapeutic. It's all about moving forward, the need to look ahead and make plans for the future, because life springs anew. 

Jaunty Fine Print: Lilac photo by Denise Sakaki, bulb/hosta photos from Brecks.com

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