Today I got up especially early, almost dawn, poured myself a cup of steaming coffee and went outside to do some serious gardening; just picking up sticks and clearing away leaves and winter debris, (what my British father used to call “pottering”) but it’s very meditative, mind clearing, solitary work.
And I look forward to doing it.
I’ve never had good luck with Columbine planting although I try each year (I especially love the deep black ones and in this regard, my good friend Jinny is my dealer, since each spring she cheerfully provides me with a few more, judgement-free, from her own pristine garden).
I’m also not the most skilled at remembering exactly where I planted them either but last year I made a special effort to make a Columbine ‘grove’ near my back deck which would be hard to miss. Continue reading
I was reading lately that gardening fills a void for some women as they mature and become “empty nesters.” This is a term I personally loathe but it’s an economical way to get the point across. As I was kneeling in my garden today, gratefully breathing in the heady scent from my two lilac trees and allowing myself to pause, whenever I liked really, to admire the iridescent navy-blue throats of the grackles that everyone seems to despise but me or to visit with the tiny toad who crossed my glove and then became very still, one foot up, one foot down, in case I had seen him (which I had and was delighted) I thought how different this experience was from an earlier version of my-gardening-self some ten years ago when it was imperative to get those vegetables planted, perennials divided and seeds planted in a kind of dizzying Operation Desert Storm long weekend which bore no resemblance to the calm, contemplative, almost Zen-like experience I enjoyed today. Continue reading
Over the weekend, I determined to start readying the back yard for winter much earlier than usual. Unlike my super-organized (and retired) neighbours with their obsessive rows of squat, compact bags of leaves I seem always to be caught by surprise and have to deal with cracked plant pots, lone garden trowels and pale, withered hoses in the spring. One of the larger planters was extraordinarily heavy so I shunted it toward the garage ancient Egyptian-style a few paces at a time.