Spring fever –

I’ve got it bad. It’s not even spring yet. But with all the unseasonablywarm weather we’ve been having (50 degrees, woo hoo!) some of my bulbsare poking up little green nubbins from the earth. Instead of studyingyesterday I spent my morning hours outside, getting rid of dead annuals,deadheading the perennials, raking leaves away from the border bricks,just generally cleaning up. And it was the most rewarding thing I’vedone all winter. Well, there was installing those direct-wireundercabinet lights, for which I had to take out and re-install bigchunks of wall – but all the problems involved in that didn’t reallygive me the warm fuzzies, if you know what I mean.

I’ve been planning out the back garden for a very long time now; every month I get a little more money in the budget for it. By the summer after next it should be finished, for a grand total of about $1,500. Gasp. It’s going to have a fountain, a stone patio shaded by a grape arbor, and several perennial beds (I’m not too fond of annuals; I prefer the plant-once-and-enjoy-forever kind of flowers).

I’m paying someone to rip out the nasty overgrown junipers in the front; much as I lament killing plants, they’re eyesores and none too healthy, so they’re out. In their place: daphne odora, a Festiva Maxima peony (because I’ve just HAD to have one ever since I lived in Sibley House and my landlord grew them), several orange and yellow daylilies, and of course a plethora of “Victoria blue” salvia. The most pressing question is whether this will all fit. Or whether I’ll actually have time to do all this in the first place.

Which brings me back, speaking of perennials, to the ever-presentquestion of my academic career. (Normally I’d have cut off this blogentry a while back, since I like ’em short and sweet – but it’s beenbugging me for a long time so bear with me). Y’all know how I feel aboutthe PhD – it’d be cool to be “Dr. D” and I like literature, but most ofthe year I’m miserable and none of the careers that this particulardoctorate implies appeal to me. Matters are made worse (as they areevery beginning of every semester) by my finding careers out there thatactually *do* look interesting.

Like this one, for example – UMD has a 2-year Landscape Designcertification. They’d train me to work as a designer with a nursery orwhoever, even to eventually run my own business. Plantly things are myhobby (er, obsession) anyway, right, so it should be the perfect careerfor me? It sounds awesome, but
1) not only would I not be gettingincome while I did it, but
2) I’d have to pay beaucoup bucks to bein the program at all, and
3) I’m already close to halfway throughmy PhD anyway, though the hardest parts still lie ahead.

So for right now it doesn’t seem that economically feasible. My head’s telling me to keep going with the PhD – that the program will still be there, that gardening will still be there, in three years – my heart wants everything to be easy and to be finished NOW.

Another bitty horti-conflict: behnke’s, the nursery I would most love to work at, is hiring for the spring rush (March-June). You can work as little as an evening a week if you want to, though they don’t pay that much… but the most important thing is the 40% employee discount that they offer. WOOT. And when I’m sitting here looking at a $1,500 garden, that seems like a mighty fine deal… but oh, yeah, if I get another job (and they find out) I lose my fellowship. -sigh- Why can’t it ever just be easy?

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