With my next door neighbor Nelda finally back from her year abroad, or rather Afghanistan, the garden games commence.
We are both competing with handicaps, my shoulder surgery and her recent flare up of tendonitis.
We both go to physical therapy, we both work slowly and we both buy too many annuals.
My hidden weapon is Elle.
Her mother is also a gardener, so Elle grew up reluctantly weeding and tilling the soil.
But she doesn't seem reluctant to get her hands dirty in the clay soil of Virginia.
Plus her father is a physical therapist so she's always being admonished to not let me do too much.
Lucky me. Double lucky.
Yesterday she showed her mother the pink lily of the valley opening in the garden.
Her mother was enchanted. And in the proper spirit of gardening, wanted some. Immediately.
Today, on both sides of the ocean we rushed off to garden centers.
We bought tomatoes and basil and other tender herbs.
Her mother bought all pink annuals, I seem to be on a white kick. Well, white with hints of blacks and greys.
We all planted, we all watered. Then Elle's dog Denver ate all the new plants.
Who knew golden retrievers dogs were herbivores?
There's a damn good chance I will walk the garden tomorrow and find cats lolling in freshly planted window boxes or digging up cilantro.
That will level even the International playing field.
That and the collection of seeds I was recently given hot off the presses from Giverny.
May 4th. We're off to the races. The Derby's got nothing on us!