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Gardening: My Green Thumb


I love gardening. For me it has something meditative about it. I love blooming and see the green grow. I like to look at gardens. My place of longing when it comes to garden culture is the Royal Garden Academy in Berlin-Dahlem. I love garden centers, and I am especially drawn to beautiful, real terracotta pots. I can ignore it even less than a hip bootie or a cool handbag – another of my passions.

Ciao, Italia

Usually at this time of year I organize my garden in Italy, make everything nice and enjoy it on the terrace with a glass of Aperol Spritz in hand after the work is done. Unfortunately, Corona thwarted my plans again this year – I personally take that particularly badly with the damned virus.

Terrace instead of garden

As a substitute, I went to my terrace at home on the Lake Ammersee when the first warmer temperatures hit. Not as much space to let off steam as on our Italian terrain. Most plants have to be content with pots here. But some of them like ginkgo, bitter orange and box have grown out of their previous vessels and need a bigger home. The kaffir lime, which I bought last year, does not really want to develop, although its few leaves already give off the pleasant citrus scent. But different fertilizers for the different plants are already available for gardening. Also 80 liters of earth, I still have some larger pots in stock. Fortunately!

My favourite book when I started gardening

In “Gardening Basics For Dummies“* I have found everything what I needed to know about flowers, beds, borders, trees, shrubs, and lawns to create my own green paradise. Paperback 22,80 Euro

Online instead of local

This year I have to improvise a lot again because the gardening centers in our district have closed again. They are open in the neighboring region, but you need a documented corona test. That’s too much of an effort for me for a bit of green and a few pots. It’s a shame, because “support your local dealer” is no longer possible for me either. Not a wise decision by our rulers, I think. Because now everything, even the vines, is ordered online. The planting season is not based on Corona. I only feel sorry for the small nurseries when they have been raised in vain.

Gardener for love

So while I pour earth into the vessels with my bare hands to repot and repot the plants, I like its coolness and purity, I listen to music through my EarPods. This time I have chosen “La finta giardiniera” (English: gardener for love) to match my topic. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera is about a marchesa who disguised herself as a gardener. Somehow fits. But my love and attention currently does not belong to Count Belfiore, which means “beautiful flower” in English, but to my greenery in the pot. The three large oleanders want to be taken out of their winter quarters.

Snap, snap

It is time to cut the tips of the oleanders. A pruning in autumn would have been better, now I have to go to work more carefully. I cut long shoots back to the next shoot, but not all. The buds, which are supposed to develop into flowers, are already at the tips. I always think of my younger sister, who once cut back all the oleanders in order to relieve me of work. But the plants were so offended that they had not flowered for almost two years. With special scissors I try to bring the box trees that have grown out of their round shape again. It almost feels like I’m cutting my husband’s hair. Only he has curls that forgive everything. Probably not the box. But at some point they are almost round again and I’ll be satisfied before I shave them too much.

Eat weeds?

Then it is the turn of the early bloomers in the bed – tulips, primroses, cowslips. The lilac is already beginning to grow purple tips. I enjoy it. I like the ground elder less. It grows annoyingly and is difficult to fight because of its spreading underground stems. I have to rake him right out of the ground. My youngest sister, a professional ecotrophologist, always claims that I shouldn’t get angry about this umbelliferae, but rather eat it in pesto, soup or as a soda. The wild vegetables should taste like a mixture of carrots and parsley. Maybe I should really give it a try? Another time. For now I’m happy when the garden beds are nice and clean again and free of greed. My Mozart opera in three acts also ended with a happy ending for everyone involved – and I earned myself an Aperol Spritz on the terrace. Befor I scrub my hands and nails with a brush. Oh dear, the nail polish. However, the new coat of paint has to wait until tomorrow.

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