Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What Makes A House A Home?

Last weekend I caved and planted some summer flowers in a container for our front steps.  I choose Blue Pincushion and Lantana, which are both summer-hardy, long-blooming perennials.

Blue Pincushion: "They attract legions of butterflies; and they bloom all season long with very little maintenance required."

Lantana: "Being plants that attract butterflies, they are a staple of butterfly gardens. They also attract hummingbirds.  Lantana plants are also drought-tolerant shrubs."

Right now the container seems a little pitiful with just these 4 small plants, but in a few weeks they should fill out very nicely.  The Pincushion should stay low enough to hide the bare stems of the (eventually) much taller Lantana - or at least, that's my plan.

To me, these little touches are what separate a place to live from a home.  When living somewhere that I knew wasn't long-term like an apartment, I would limit myself to a pot or two of utilitarian herbs.

Over the last few years I've lived in a LOCATION that was permanent, but not in the permanent BUILDING (we knew we'd eventually build a real house on our land).  This led to a strange hybrid situation where even though I wasn't renting and had the freedom to plant whatever I wanted, we always knew it might be in the way of future construction.

I hadn't really realized how strongly I associate 'putting down roots' with the literal activity of planting permanent vegetable and flower gardens until I couldn't.

Now that we're in the process of having our house built and starting a family, I find I can't totally hold in the need to do some of these small projects.  Last year I planted a few things around our mailbox, and a few spring bulbs around our immature apple trees.  This year I planted this container and got a few houseplants since the very limited space outside that's pretty sure to escape construction mayhem has been taken at this point.

Emotionally, once the house is built and I can put in some permanent flower beds, fruit trees, asparagus, and berry bushes this will truly feel like home.  In the meantime I'll just have to REALLY enjoy my pot of Lantana and Pincushion flowers ;-)

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