Thursday, July 16, 2009


It thrills that some love brushes against me as I stomp on the pine needles and cedar mulch path under the forest pansy. I drop the bucket of tools, the empty one for debris, the rake, cultivator, edger, broom, and head for the shed.
I'm taken back in it's smell, to cottages and cabins , canoeing at sunset, the call of the loon, chipmunks scurrying .
There I find the leaf bags I'll need, and a visual mix in the supplies of almost retirees, grandparents, gardeners.
This sweet couple is kind enough to let me forage about in their retreat in the older part of the city, tucked in among the treasured tree canopies and ones being taken down for newer homes.

I look forward to the monthly English garden getaways , eager to root among the thirsty ones , weeding, deadheading, trimming.

The soil down near the lake is sandier than the clay that frustrates most of my neighbours.
The cool shade rewards efforts for rhododendrons , hydrangeas, ferns, woodland bulbs, and the like.
This garden looks organic and easy, meandering here and there, freely mixing and swaying and blooming .
I've discovered, as with most things in life, that it takes many behind the scene hours of work, with pruners, trimmer, clippers, and a trusty LTool to achieve a look of natural beauty.

The refined, the delicate, the muted tones and subtle shade contrasts.

Arbours and paths gently entice to tucked away seating for reflection. A pond babbles, nestled in ivy and wild violet . A gazebo beckons for refreshments , bird watching.

But behind many castle walls the fairy tales do not exist.
High tea illusions of the downstairs drudgery.
She taunts me there , that lady always waiting. With demure downcast eyes and plain dress.
For all is not peaceful in extreme gardening ventures , when you go in unprepared and stay in the game when the body cries otherwise.

I have spent the last few days in a woozy stupor of throbbing head and slow motion limbs.
I partied too hard on that day away from it all.
Too many hours bending and crawling in the snickering sun. Without a drop of liquid, water or otherwise.
Collecting bites and giving up blood .
Chirped at by the knowing chipmunk while I loaded my car, hands shaking in the hurried invoicing.

Even when things are as lush and innocent as a forest opening, one still needs to be prepared , with supplies, and common sense.

A good lesson at this point in the summer, with the schedules , the routines, the days and nights and sounds mixing like a cottage garden of tipsy July days. It's time to thin out, and cut back, and remember the basics. The wild rain drunk gardens are getting a little edgy lately, and this gardener feels like she 's recovering from jungle fever.

I rushed angrily, and frustrated, to escape the CD's blaring pulse from my own backyard, hoping to find sweet music for my soul at the home of elsewhere.

Only to need to be reminded to rest and drink and thirst for more of the love here where my heart beats best.
It really isn't all that romantic a notion to bloom where you're planted, and put in good strong roots to live by.
Plants wither quickly when you shock them in transplanting. Extra care in watering, fertilizing, support, pinching back, and soil conditions are vital factors in the transition.

So too with mothers and summers with almost grown children.

I must take care to tend to these transitions , and remember to take time to sway freely in the many colours of love and life giving roots.


  1. What beautiful reflections and eloquent prose. The photos are gorgeous. Have a restful weekend, dear.

    Happy Friday,

  2. I like the path-following structure here...and the conclusion of your path, that we're worth cultivating.

    Lovely photos, lovely garden. I'm brown with envy at all the green! We've had 1/3" since early May and temps 100+ most days.

    I guess we all have challenges from environment--yours is to weed and cultivate and clip back, ours is to mulch and water (sparingly because of restrictions) and pray for rain.