Summer has been slow in coming, but finally the time is right for putting out a few flowers out in Michigan. So over the weekend, I made the first of my summer pilgrimages to Beachside Gardens.
This is a family-owned garden center on the edge of Michigan City and just a short distance (as the crow flies) from Lake Michigan’s shore. Our house is heavily wooded and the woods harbor lots of deer, so choosing plants that can make it is quite a challenge.
Several years ago, I found an old-fashioned concrete planter lying in the woods that I reclaimed and put on the flat chimney cap that protrudes from our roof. This small planter can hold a few plants and can be seen from the second floor of the house. So every year I put a geranium or a begonia or two in it for a dash of cheer and color.
While I’m at Beachside, I wander around outside, appreciating all the beautiful red and pink roses and the sun-loving plants that it makes no sense to buy. I remember all the beautiful roses and other flowers my parents and grandparents grew when I was a child.
At last, I wander into the wonderfully stuffy greenhouse that is crammed with all the shade-loving plants. I love walking around in here on the squishy rubber floor, the fans moving the hot air around and the whole place suffused with a distinctive light. I love looking at the colors of the tuberous begonias, some so bright that they hurt my eyes.