Friday, September 23, 2011

my investment portfolio, which can survive any crash

From the time I was 18 until I turned 28, I had 13 different addresses.  Finally, I have just the one, which I intend to keep for the foreseeable future. 

When I signed the two-year lease for our Fire Island house shack, which just expired, I smiled at Kathy and noted that it was the longest I had "lived" in one place, since moving out of my parents' house at 18.  Now I live here with Kathy and the kids, in a house she owns (until we redo the title, at which point I will also own it, hooray!).  Home ownership, combined with the joy I have found in trying not to kill plants in our garden, has given me the lovely gift of a feeling of permanence, in a good way.  I always thought such permanence would feel like being tied down.  Imagine my surprise that it, instead, feels like being set free.  Free to plan, free to make changes, free to hang on to the things that are working, while discarding the things that aren't.

(a fading hydrangea that's mine, year after year)

Yesterday afternoon, I bought heads of garlic online to bust apart and plant the largest cloves, in the hopes that each one will grow into a full head next summer -- if I don't kill them. It has gotten me thinking about all of the little investments I have made, knowing that I'm not going anywhere. Like any good portfolio, some are short-term investments (expecting payoffs in the spring or summer of next year) and some are long-term investments (which could take many years to mature):

1/2 pound of certified organic Krandasger Red garlic - for planting this fall and pulling next July.

cutting garlic scapes
(I chose a hardneck variety, like this, so it can do double-duty of providing garlic scapes in late spring, 
as well as the cloves -- and I hope it will overwinter better in my northern climate)

Divided and re-planted irises, which will move from rather sad looking, spread out bunches this fall, to tall, spiky beauties come spring -- hopefully with a plethora of purple flowers instead of the half a dozen the over-crowded things produced this spring.

(like this, please)

Mums mums mums.  I love them.  Fall is one of my favorite times of year, and I love that their late flowers give me something to still look forward to in the garden.  Last year, I planted a handful of hardy mums, this year, I added a few more.  I could keep going.  How long, do you think, until the garden is taken over by them?  I am on the lookout for some more interesting varieties than the hardy mums that Home Depot sells, but in my view the ability to tolerate our northern winters is essential: if I'm investing in a plant, I want to see that baby year after year.

(one of my mums-to-be, smooshed between two marigolds)

Stewartia pseudocamellia.  Remember how I got in that war with the neighbor over which tree to put in the shared bed between our houses?  Well, you might recall that I pre-ordered the stewartia to arrive this spring.  I've saved it a place, right in front of our house.  Which brings me right to my next investment...

Planting a baby tree.  I planted the baby Japanese Maple during that war with the neighbor.  Because of the fact that it's a twig with a dozen leaves, it is going to need some time before it's a tree that actually fills out the space in the way I envision.  And that's okay with me, because I plan to be here when I can appreciate it -- all the way from toddler-hood to it's young adult years, and, finally as a more mature tree.

My compost bin.  This was the first of my long-term investments in this garden, and came along before I had even officially moved in.  When I planted the baby Japanese Maple, I was so pleased to see that finally, some of the egg shells, tea bags, yard waste, and melon rinds dumped unceremoniously into the bin all those months ago had decomposed into crumbly compost, their original forms completely unidentifiable, to add to the soil the baby tree is planted in.

(the beloved compost bin, in all it's almost-under-the-deck glory)

No comments:

Post a Comment