Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Nuance of Shade and Color.

It's the time of year that women, particularly southerners, live for all winter long. Clutching pages torn from magazines, carrying color swatches, photographs, and sample books, we prepare for our mission. This all has to go down before Mother's Day, because everyone knows that all the good stuff is picked over before Mother's Day weekend. Of course.


I'm always armed with my husband's truck, as well as an old pair of clothes and flip-flops, because I need space to haul my purchases, and ease of movement. I take this job very seriously, as all well-bred women should.

Of course there will be the requisite ladies-who-lunch, resplendent in their Burberry trenches & Tod moccasins, lugging their Balenciaga totes, sunglasses perched artfully upon perfectly coiffed manes. I, however, shall grab my lunch at Pal's (Sauceburger with cheese, please!) and won't mind a bit when it spills on my bleach-stained yoga capris, and/or my favorite pink Piggly Wiggly t-shirt, the back of which reads, "I'm Big On The Pig." Word. Just keepin' it classy.

So I'm primed, I'm fueled, I'm properly outfitted, and I'm ready...

As soon as I enter the doors, the sights, sounds, and smells overwhelm me and it's all I can do to contain myself from breaking into song.
I come to the garden alone...
while the dew is still on the roses...

Yes, friends...for the next few weeks I will spend my afternoons digging in the dirt. Verbena and Angeliona and Hydrangea, oh my! I will purchase ferns from Kitten's Green Thumb in Jonesville, Virginia, because everyone who's anyone knows that Kitten (yes, that's her real name!) has the most beautiful ferns in the Tri-state area.

I'll also buy out Kitten's stock of hot pink Geraniums, too. As well as raspberry-hued Verbena, dark purple Angeliona, and hot pink Vinca.
I'm pretty much unstoppable at Kitten's Green Thumb. Nanny-nanny-boo-boo, you ladies-who-lunch. Shoulda got up from the table a little earlier.

Next I'll head to Evergreen Nursery in Kingsport, Tennessee, for purple Vinca. It's particularly lovely when paired near yellow Lantana. See?
Y'all know how I feel about The Mother Ship (more commonly known to some as Sephora), so it should come as no surprise that I approach the beautification of my yard in much the same manner. Certain colors will always find purchase in this soil of mine (all shades of pinks, blues, and purples, with yellow for contrast and white as a "filler,") whereas no hint of orange will ever see light of day up in this piece.

Please. I was raised with a modicum of dignity and taste. I know better.
Years ago my grandmother--who never wore a pair of "britches" in her life, and would never dream of leaving her house without first circling her neck with either pearls, diamonds, gold, or a combination thereof--told me that gardening was something all southern women "just did." My favorite Aunt Doris would spend hours snipping, clipping, and pruning away at her azaleas and wisteria. And even my own mother taught me the difference between annuals and perennials, proper spacing, shade lovers, and which flowers could "take the heat." I never dreamed I'd be one of those women who'd find immense joy in spending week after week covered in dirt, caked in manure, (not my own!) and drenched in sweat.

I love every minute of it.

I feel as if I've earned my birthright...honored my heritage...accepted the legacy that was genetically disposed to me, courtesy of my Mississippi born and bred parents. While the rest of the world is digging the new spring fashions, I'm happy to be digging in the dirt. And rolling around in it, too. What else would one do while wearing a Piggly Wiggly t-shirt?







28 comments:

Jenn said...

I have the biggest black thumb in the history of ever. I'm envious that you're so awesome at the planting!

Also, I love that you quoted In The Garden.

scargosun said...

Sooo pretty! I am going to do the same this weekend! Have fun!

Cha-Ching on a Shoestring said...

Love this, Leigh Anne! Someday you'll have to teach this northerner a thing or two. =)

Live.Love.Eat said...

Another reason why I think you're wonderful. I always wanted a green thumb but I'll be keeping this one around a ladle I guess.

Your flowers look beautiful. Enjoy the next few weeks.

Shannon said...

I'm going to blame my NOT having a green thumb on my Yankeeness.

CaraBee said...

While I can appreciate a beautiful garden (and yours is certainly that), I do not have skill at creating my own. Add that to the fact that I have very little time that I can actually do gardening. Unless I put my daughter on a leash, which I'm not keen on doing. So my yard has a few pretty bushes and some perrenials but I just don't do much with the annuals. Maybe when Sophie gets a little older I can spend time outdoors working on such things. But for now, I will just have to enjoy everyone else's. Sigh.

Vanessa said...

I'm jealous. I kill any plant that is left under my care. I love the fact that you said britches. I can hear my grandmother say that still. 8)

kelly said...

Some people choose/need to work!
Some people like orange!!
Some people like St. Charles!!!
Some people do not like religious snobs that make fun of others, you put your "britches" on the same way everyone else does!!!!

Brandy said...

Geez what is Kelly's problem?! She obviously doesn't know you very well. Or she is just jealous of your Piggly Wiggly shirt. As am I.

Praise you and your gardening ability. I'm trying...Lord knows I'm trying but I lack your talent, drive and PW shirt.

Kelly said...

From one Kelly to another: Get a grip. My friend would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it (or probably even just wanted it), even AFTER your comments.

Just wanted to balance out the Kelly situation.

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

Wow. This Kelly girl is passionate about orange and gardening. Who knew gardening was so controversial!?!

You go LA with your piggy wiggly shirt and bleach stained britches. I'll be right behind you in my bleach stained shirt and my workout pants. (As soon as the snow melts off Mt. Spokane. Cuz around here you just don't plant anything till that happens.)

Heather said...

Kelly seems bitter. She forgot to mention that some people shop at the Piggly Wiggly because of it's name!!!

As I did on the way to Oak Alley Plantation last weekend. If they'd have had shirts there, I would've purchased one to do my gardening in as well.

However, we don't garden much here in the desert which is why I will have to be happy just watching my succulents bake away in the heat. I'd still wear the shirt, though.

Don't be bitter, Kelly.

Mrs.Mayhem said...

Gorgeous flowers. I wouldn't have thought to mix yellow with the other colors, but it looks great!

artsyesque said...

Alas! My gardening can only be done in window boxes. Wait! I have no windows that will support window boxes. My piteously small trailer will have to host said window boxes on the rails of likewise piteously small front/back 'porches'. I shall live vicariously through you! :)

Megan said...

Ah, yet another blog falling victim to the centuries old battle over orange. Whoever prevails, we'll all be a little less innocent.

Lula! said...

I would like to comment here--on my own blog--I actually LIKE the color orange. (Not Tennesse orange, mind you. That's reprehensible.) Just not in MY yard. It doesn't fit my desired color scheme.

Thank you very much.
Love,
The Religious Snob Herself

Heather said...

I love that you have a "hater" on a gardening post.

Huh-sterical.

Methinks Kelly must live in your neck of the woods. Any ideas? Or is she just a random hater popping up out of nowhere?

Sunshine said...

Kelly.. seriously? it's a gardening post.. take your HATE comments..and go somewhere else..

kelly said...

Hey BLOGGERS, how well do you know your friend. She makes fun of others! Thinks she is better than others! Is not quiet about her thoughts, does not care if she offends others.

Lula! said...

Hey, "kelly."

Firstly, I would like to address your question, "how well do you know your friend." Which is a question, not a statement, but we'll let your lack of proper punctuation slide.

Of the commenters listed above, 8 are ladies I've met in person. Yes, I said in person. They're also some of my closest friends. So they "KNOW" me. A couple are ladies I've only "met" online, but we've e-mailed and/or talked for a good two years or more. I think they "know" me, too.

I do make fun of others. Have you seen the mess that Lindsay Lohan's gotten herself into? Please. She's just begging to be scoffed at on a regular basis. If I learn that I've hurt her feelings, I'll be certain to apologize to her. Until then, anything I say that might be construed as "making fun of" is all gentle chiding. If you are someone I've "made fun of," rest assured it's been unintentional. I am not a malicious person.

You're right about one thing...I'm not quiet about my thoughts. The ladies who comment on my blog--as well know "know" me in real life--are certainly aware of this aspect of my personality.

Guess what? I love JESUS. I love Lost. I love Jason Statham. I'm a stay-at-home mother and proud of it. (By the way--I do work. I choose to work, and I need to work. I'm a mother. End of story.) I think I have the best husband in the world, I think my children are the greatest, and I'm generally thrilled with the life God has blessed me. So yeah...I'm gonna be obnoxiously loud about it. Always.

Finally, I'd respect you a whole lot if you'd quit hiding behind an assumed name. Have the balls to comment with your true identity.

Yeah, I said balls. 'Cause I'm a religious snob.

Love,
Me

Lula! said...

Oh, crap...I forgot to address the, "She thinks she is better than others" part.

Please.

Sunshine, Kelly (not the hater), Brandy, Shannon, both Heathers, and Cara have all seen me in the wee small hours of the morning. They not only KNOW I'm not better than anyone else, they can PROVE it.

Also, I'm writing this while wearing one of my famed Mama's Family-esque nightgowns. Yes. I am SO much better than others. Bwahahahaha!

Check it: All that's good in me is Jesus. That's all. That's it. The rest is filthy rags.

THE END.

Vicki said...

Let's bring this back to gardening since it IS a gardening post. Don't fear the orange. It'll bring a little bit of sass to that gentile garden. The Miss Huff variety of Lantana (a perennial) would mix very well with the purple and yellow. Only the brave wear, oops, I mean use orange (snicker...as in a reference to my awesome orange trench) ;)

Ash said...

I too am kid in a candy store when purchasing plants for the garden. Nothing better for the body or the brain than digging in the dirt.

I suggest your mean girl commenter give it a try. Work out some of that aggression.

No orange here either - Aggie gardeners don't do orange. Oh the hate!! ;-)

Peace.

DanySpike said...

Kelly:
Maybe you're having a bad day, or maybe even a bad year. You probably hate your job, you're a bit insecure and your favorite tshirt is orange, so this post hit a nerve or something. Either way, I would ask you to think a little before unloading your personal frustration onto someone you know nothing about.

I'm not religious, so I don't care if you don't like religious people, I don't know Lula, I've never met her in person because I live in another country, and English is not my first language, so at first I thought maybe you were joking and I wasn't getting it, but judging by the reaction of everyone else, well...you weren't. So sad... These were gratuitous offenses to a very nice woman that i've had the pleasure to meet online. You, on the other hand, are not making a very good impression. So yes, between you and her, I take the religious snob. Every. Time.

I hope you can stop going around hating people. You'd be happier and maybe we could even be friends someday.

Kim said...

I "know" Leigh Anne! And I know her as well as her family knows her! We've been on vacation with her and her family! We lounge at the pool with her! I've seen her dressed in her Target best accessorized with Forever 21 jewelry, and dressed in her "Pig" shirt while doing some good ol' southern cooking! So, don't talk to me about her being better than ANYBODY!
She has been an awesome help to my daughter who is a student at Liberty University. She and her husband are faithful to help her every month! She brings me gifts "just because"!
So, until you REALLY know LA then you have no right to run your mouth about her!
OH and BTW she is not religious, she is a born again christian who loves JESUS!

Ashton Dene' said...

Ummmmmmm, your gardening skills are amazing. I personally don't care for it one bit, but I like to enjoy other people's gardens.

I'm glad it brings you so much joy :)

Sorry for the hate on this comment, you know I love you!

x, ash

Pinky Roth said...

LA is my daughter, born and raised in the south. Don't go to her blog if you do not like her...I sense a feeling of jealousy. Love you and you keep on gardening!

Mom

kt said...

Hey mom jealousy whatever i may have a better life than your girl
THE PROBLEM i have with LA is that she doesn't preach what she blogs
in the blog i only have one answer she quotes matthew 12:31 love your neighbor as yourself
yeh LA if they share your love of the almighty dollar and dont live in certain parts of lee county
what about the poor hillbillies that provide you and hubby with that almighty dollar
hey LA hows my punctution opps i didn't use much hahaha
is mine grammar any gooder hehehe