What do April showers bring?

My garden? I wish! Tulips at Brookside Gardens in Silver Spring, MDSpring has finally arrived after one of the most grueling winters I can remember, and with that comes the desire to abandon my laptop, feel the sun on my face and get some garden dirt under my fingernails. I’ve always fancied having a green thumb. The problem is that my thumb, like the rest of me, is brown. The desire to cultivate a gorgeous garden is fueled by the fact that my neighbors all have them. Some of them are professionally maintained, but several are meticulously cared for by people who not only have an eye for what looks appealing but also the ability to keep things alive.

I, on the other hand, struggle to keep up with the Johnsons and the Kucklemans. When I moved into the neighborhood from a no-maintenance townhouse, I followed their lead, getting a hand seeder and bags of turf builder . I even bought a wheelbarrow to haul mulch and leaves like they did and felt really great about myself. And then, after the weeds slowly choked out all of our grass over several seasons, a lawn service was called in to fix my mess. 

Next, I planted a variety of bushes and perennial flowering plants to fill the beds in front of the house. It looked pretty for a very short period of time, until the plants grew out of control or died and a professional landscaper was called in to . . . fix my mess again.

Since last year, I’ve come to term with my limitations and I now stick to potted plants. I’ve spread a bunch of planters on my deck and around the entrance, which I fill with bright annuals. So what do April showers bring? May flowers, of course. But let’s see if they can make it to July. I’ve learned which ones are the hardiest varieties that thrive with neglect. Because once the heat, humidity and mosquitos kick in, my laptop wins over the great outdoors, and those suckers are on their own.