Sunday, April 29, 2012
It is only the end of April, yet this Spring has rushed into Summer with wanton abandon. The honeysuckle behind the house drapes lushly over its tall cousins and perfumes the air with intense sweetness. The air is warm and moist and I feel as though I am far behind in my gardening.
Yet there has been progress. The wee roses I nestled into the earth when we moved here are now wearing buds, ready to burst forth in fragrant glory. Golden Sweet peas and nasturtiums reach for the sun in the front porch baskets and I just planted more nasturtiums in the side baskets. Nasturtiums are a lovely container plant that adds bright flowers and peppery round leaves to salads.
Much of this time has been spent planning. We are blessed to have lovely old trees around our home. We have a great deal of shade in our little yard and must work around this for our garden. To add to the complexity of the problem, a black walnut stands right in the middle of the only place a garden can go. While it is a lovely tree and sees to it that our home is shaded nearly all day, it is not a good neighbor for most plants. I have mulled over my options from cutting it down and killing the stump with a series of treatments with Roundup, to just leaving it and learing to work with its prickly personality. But in the end there was really only one path that aligns with my philosophy. So the black walnut tree will stay where it is. It's strong trunk will be the center of my spiral garden bed, perhaps adorned with a grape vine, and I will garden in ways that allow the tree and my other plants to live in peace.
I have learned that what is right is seldom what is easy.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
I had to use a fencing bar to dig up the rocky soil. The rich dark smell of fresh turned earth stirs something primal in me. Even though I am planting a rose, which we cannot eat or wear, I feel a strange sort of satisfaction while nestling it in the earth. I feel a connection to this place that I did not before, as if I have given it a part of me. As I give more of myself to my home, it gives more back. We become part of each other.
There is much to do here. The lot is rocky and bare, only a few intrepid wild plants grow here. Yet in my head, I see masses of blooms swaying above the green of grass. Lush plants overflow the raised garden beds and mints grow with wild abandon beneath the great Oak that spreads it limbs protectively over the house.
We will bring more life here.
Did you have a favorite piece of clothing when you were a child, something that just made you happy when you put it on? I did. It was a pretty little shirt, all blue with ruffles on the sleeves and hem. I loved wearing that shirt. Then one day I put it on and it just didn’t fit quite right anymore. It was hard to describe, maybe it was just a little snug in the arms, or it didn’t hang as gracefully as it once did. I had outgrown it. Of course, being human, I resisted this change. I clung to the shirt for a while, ignoring my vague sense of discomfort. But eventually I was forced to let it go.
Thistleglade has become like that shirt. It’s still as beautiful as ever, filled with the power of Mother Nature. It has not changed. I have. I can no long reconcile my belief that we desperately need the wild places of the world to stay wild with taking part of that wildness and making it mine. I tried to ignore what was happening for a while, but my old worldview has become too uncomfortable to bear. I must let it go and seek a new one. Letting go is always so frightening. I fear that only emptiness waits for me. But life has taught me that whenever something leaves my life, something much more rich and complex enters.
The goats and Sugar are gone, the trailer stands empty, and silence lives once more in Thistleglade. We have found a new home in town. It is a tiny, charming cottage sheltered by an immense oak tree. It waits, like a blank canvas, to be painted with our hopes, dreams, living, and loving.
Here’s to the magic of Growing Pains!