The summer that Jenny was a puppy, my garden really took a hit.
Oh, she was adorable and all (which was a Good Thing for her), but she mashed my daylilies flat. She leaped through my hostas. She dug out anything new I planted. . . and dragged it through the yard.
She was always, always rooting around in my garden. From the very first, she had a "thing" for my hostas. She liked to hide in them. And then leap out!
And when she crashed, she often crashed in among the hostas!
I thought my gardening days were doomed . . . by an adorable puppy. But, over the years, Jenny has become my faithful gardening companion.
Oh, she still likes to sneak off with my gardening gloves or an empty plastic pot and run wild through the yard. But the days of digging up and rooting through and leaping into my plants are over.
Jenny loves to be . . . involved. . . with gardening.
This past weekend, Tom helped me plant (let's be clear -- I pointed, Tom planted) several hostas (generously shared by my Mom and Dad) in a new garden bed. And who was right there. . . helping every step of the way?
Why, Jenny the Gardening Dog, of course!
I noticed she was doing a lot of nosing about in the upturned soil. With great interest!
Turns out she was hunting grubs!
After trying one, she decided to leave them for the robins. But she did have a lot of fun digging for them, and then just sort of . . . leaving them. . . laying willy-nilly around the new garden bed.
Much better than flattening the hostas, that's for sure!
Why, it means I'm in Fat City when it comes to high-quality plant material! It means that I live smack-dab in the middle of some of the best nurseries in the world! And it means that I look forward to Opening Day for all my favorite nurseries with the same kind of passion that fuels. . .
Hunters awaiting the opening of "gun season."
Fisherman looking forward to "The Trout Opener."
Shoppers camping out for "Black Friday."
It means that I collect my Opening Day announcements and Early Bird coupons; it means that I mark dates and times on my calendar; it means that my friend Sandie and I have many strategy discussions over coffee; it means . . .
Even though we have plenty of WONderful nurseries right here in Kalamazoo, Sandie and I traditionally start the nursery season with a road trip to some of our favorite remote nurseries. This year was no exception, as we hit the road bright and early Saturday morning . . . discount coupons in hand!
Hidden Grove is a wonderful nursey with high-quality perennials
fun little garden tchotchkes and beautiful pots
and aisle after aisle
after greenhouse after greenhouse
of great plants for every spot in your garden! They also have great demonstration gardens out on their property, although it's a bit early in the season to really explore them.
They also have the most stunning array of succulents EVER.
This is only one of several rows of succulents. (I may have had a bit of a falling down in the succulent sections.)
They also have a gorgeous selection of begonias. I think I'll take . . . THIS one!
Next, we swung over to WW Greenhouses, which is probably my first-love when it comes to nurseries. (Our first house was less than a mile away from this place. I spent many an afternoon, dragging Toddler Erin and Baby Brian through WW!)
WW's tagline is "The Perennial People" . . . and they aren't kidding! They have a great selection of perennials, native plants, pond plants, and annuals that will just knock your socks off!
WW always EXPLODES with color.
Their greenhouses go on for acres! They do a wonderful job with demonstration gardens -- both inside and out.
Their hanging baskets and containers are inspiring! The best I've seen -- and, trust me, I've seen a LOT of great hanging baskets at various nurseries in the area.
They even have butterflies and birds. It's just a delight.
(The Japanese Forest Grass came home with me; sadly, the Red Admiral did not.)
And here's the funny part. We weren't going to buy anything at WW. We were just goiing to look.
Here's Sandie with her cart! Mine was significantly less full, but still. . .
We definitely pushed the limits of Sandie's new Prius -- and have dubbed it the Official Flower Wagon of All Road Trips!
Now. . . if only the weather would warm up so we could get rid of the frost warnings!
On Friday, I had an unexpected day off. Which meant. . . I got to see this. . .
My two chemists. . . talking chemistry. . . together!
Tom is a chemist. Brian is a chemistry major at Hope College, where he is working in the lab on a research project with one of his professors. Last Friday, he was able to present his work at a "poster session" at the Hope College Research Celebration.
It's a great experience for Brian -- all the way around. To be able to be involved in this type of research as an undergraduate is just wonderful (and the reason he went to Hope in the first place). And to be able to present his work in this format is just icing on the cake!
Tom (who has a PhD in organic chemistry, himself) was so proud!
Not a clue! I have no idea what they're doing or what they're talking about or what any of it means. But it really doesn't matter. I was thrilled to be along for the ride!