The Pilgrimage


Every spring for as long as I can remember, I make a pilgrimage to Russell’s Garden Center in Wayland, MA. It’s right on Route 20 and if you have spent any time in Metro Boston or Metro West part of Massachusetts, you know that Russell’s has been around for a very long time! It is the place to go for plants, trees, annuals, perennials, roses, fountains, ponds, birdfeeders, hummingbird feeders, soil, grass seeds and all kinds of garden food, jewelry, candles, soaps, tchatchkes, knickknacks, paddy whacks and even some clothing.
It is usually all I can do to restrain myself from flinging my arms wide and yelling: “I’ll take it all, thank you!” and then I turn to the Hubs and say “pay the man, dear” and I will find myself with all the pink and apricot roses a girl could want. I will gladly share red and yellow roses as I am not so fond of those colors.


Here’s my “before” picture. This is our cart which contained, in no particular order, 2 rose plants, 2 meulenbeckia, 2 cilantro, 2 scented geraniums, 18 geraniums,36 impatiens,4 tomato plants/3 varieties, 6 verbena, 2 morning glories and a one empty Dunkin Donuts medium hot tea with 2 sugar…oh wait, that’s trash.

What’s meulenbeckia you might ask? Here’s what it looks like:

It makes a lovely trailing vine for containers, but is notoriously hard to grow and therefore expensive so I usually can only afford a couple.

And this is the beautiful David Austen rose I bought:

Lady Emma Hamilton is her name, based on the famous Emma Hamilton of Lord Nelson fame. You know Lord Nelson, hero of the British Fleet, Rule Britannia, Battle of Trafalgar and all that? No? Try looking up “That Hamilton Woman” on TMC, or AMC or Netflix or your streaming video source of choice. Vivien Leigh, Sir Laurence Olivier….kiss me, Hardy. You can look it up.

Oh, and since you have seen the “before” shot of my cart, here’s the “after” shot of the results of our labor. We spent Sunday afternoon, happily puttering around our new fountain and setting the place to rights for the season. For much of the next 4 months, this patio becomes our second living room. This was just after I asked the Hubs, “is it going to rain?” I had already asked him that 3 times. But this time the answer was a deafening deluge of rain that lasted until Sunday morning.


Don’t fret, you’ll see more of our backyard oasis soon! Now go watch “That Hamilton Woman”. It’s swell!

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