I broke the (gardening) rules…

The sun has set over Berlin after a mostly cloudy and windy day. I have rain as my background music while I begin writing this, just as the clouds burst open. Much as I love the daily dose of sunshine and look forward to the wonderful hours under the sun at my (home office) desk, the rain is welcome and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

Leapfrogging Lavender ©FrogDiva Photography

I began re-arranging my sliver of balcony yesterday, starting by giving the peach, apple and cherry trees more space to spread out their branches, now that a rose and lavender bushes have joined the party. It’s my very first year to raise a rosebush on my own, so let’s see how that goes. Each year I plant lavender and hope for the best, and that is no different this time. Hope springs eternal!

The rule of the thumb in Germany for planting the summer and fall bloomers is to do so after the so-called Eisheilige, or the feast days of the Ice Saints. This year they fall between May 11 and 15, but I can’t wait that long because I have to go back to work then, and have the time on my hands now. The last time I ignored the rule there was a snowfall a week after I planted my precious geraniums, which consequently succumbed to a bitter death. A couple of older neighbours at the time gave me a dirty look and “I told you so”, which I never forgot. With all the climate change and wonky weather we have been experiencing in the past years, I decided to take the risk and hope for the best.

The results of my efforts were approved by daughter and one cat this afternoon, after the rain paused long enough for a show-stopping sunset. They both plopped down on a picnic mat among the plants for a cozy cup of tea.

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