Sunday, November 15, 2009


I'd like to use the excuse that because I've been so incredibly busy with fall gardening chores and/or recovering from them, that I haven't been able to properly thank Cynthia for her surprise of bloggy kindness.
But that wouldn't be honest... and well somehow , you know, doesn't quite fit it with the whole Honest theme.

I will say that I'm constantly amazed and thrilled and sleep deprived as I discover or am directed to the vast and diverse and life changing blogs.

So , truthfully, I'm a little behind in some things.

Cynthia's blog , Running With Letters is inspiring. She covers such a variety of valuable topics, her pictures are great, she's an author, and she just overall oozes friendly. A beautiful person to make a connection with. Thank you for reaching out to me.


10 Things I Honestly Don't Like About Gardens

1. Hosta plantings in a circle around a tree. Especially when all of the same type and colour and circling a columnar tree. Kind of like a collar . Or bracelet. Poor trying to be grand and magnificent tree.

2. Daylilies . Sorry. The blooms are astonishingly beautiful, almost tropical, and the colours range from the softest brush against your senses, to the deepest how does Nature do that. But in tiny suburban, not grown for swathes or for cuttings, this is all I've got for the length of the driveway, under the windows - I've fallen into the dark side of the relationship. Too much foliage for too little impact and contribution to the average landscaped property. And the clean up of the mush. Yuck. This especially goes for the over sold Stella d'Oro.

3. Tea roses in the front yard.

4. Umbrella trees. Upside down greenery that people plant where the walkway to the front door meets the driveway. For a focal point. And so they can trim and prune and feel very old English gardener like . I guess.

5. Boxwood hedges. Oh , I've got one. And there is nothing that comes close to their texture, hardiness, all purpose formal yet practical planting uses. But after a season of hand trimming ... we need a little space from each other.

6. Bees. They are invaluable. But they sting. As do yellow jackets, and wasps and whatever else might be trying to enjoy the Salvia while I'm trying to deadhead it. Just sayin'

7. Heavy Metal music and leaf blowers. The kind of noise that assaults and renders it almost impossible to get into a zen like state while weeding. Right there as loud and constant and grating from the property next door. Sometimes in surround sound like dueling Nine Inch Nails on a chalkboard.

8. Blue Jays. I so appreciate chickadees, cardinals, and finch. A woodpecker or two, turtle doves, and sea gulls. Geese, crows. You chatter and banter and beckon and rejoice. But Mr. ( or Mrs. ) Blue Jay ; I don't know where your attitude comes from, and for the most part I'm nowhere near the deeper forest sections of your space. Why do you yell at me. Is it because you think I should be home reading, or sipping iced tea by the pool and you've decided to stage a little intervention?

9. Rain soaked leaf bags. That are of course filled with all manner of twigs, and cuttings, and slime, and rotting stems and fly away pods and garlic smelling weeds, and muddy roots and thorny canes. That were heavy to drag and heave and hoist and pull into the homeowners chosen waiting spot for pick up day. That apparently they forgot about. So when you try to move them to make room for the 4 or 8 or 15 other , you now have to go your car and get the shovel if you remembered it. To heave and scoop and re-bag and rake and sweep and remember to smile at the Mail Carrier who passes by shouting out how isn't it just the most fabulous day!

10. Fences. Because there are so many days that I just want to wander and meander and be awestruck and inspired and awakened to the very me of myself. That works in a very orderly and plotted out manner, wondering what it would be like to just keep going deeper and deeper into the beyond.

No offense meant by any of these opinions, especially given the fact that I will no doubt change my mind and that I am referring mostly to the gardens in my area, in my particular zone. And you should know that our first house was over planted and all wrong , what with way too many trees lovingly tucked in with rings of hosta.

And I will pass this award on through email.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.

Mary Oliver

I remember fingering bean seeds in the lint of a deep coat pocket.

Surrounded by iron railings and brick flats , I was particularly entranced by the dark recesses of a white slightly lilting porch.
That I was crawling out of the sun's reach didn't occur to my six year old scabby knees and hopeful heart as an issue, any more than the fact that they were lima beans I dug in, lovingly shared from my brother's plate.

Not pole or scarlet runners, but processed , cooked, and served with carrots and peas.

On other days I added dried navy beans , suddenly aware that the damp mud under my nails and in the folds of slouching socks was beautiful.
That I was wearing a secret.

Most days I played hopscotch and barbie, and school. I coloured and dressed my paper dolls and dreamed of canopy beds , locket necklaces and carriage rides.

I didn't climb trees or fences or even the forbidden staircases that grew up like vines with drying laundry leaves up and down those Montreal streets, providing escape routes for tag games.

But these diamonds of letting go and waiting for it to come back, felt like song lyrics of dreams to come true.
They smelled like the laughter layered in pine needles around a cottage. Like a soup ladle carefully running along the top of the pot to catch drips of shelled peas and pulled up carrots.

Just a prayer of giant snowflakes and star lit bedroom nights. Bedtime's steepled fingers could bring the tiniest little green piece of forever pushing up through the rain of a morning.

I'm sure when we moved yet again, I quickly forgot about those doomed plantings.

But the seeds of something grew.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Good-bye My Friend, ode to an L-Tool.

Good-bye to you, my trusted friend.
You had your season in the sun.
Time to rest in the shadows, like the fading roses.
Together we climbed hills, beneath trees, got scraped and worn.

Now that winter is in the air, like the flowers,the weeds have gone.
You've helped to teach me right from wrong, what was ground cover , and where to scrape so it would be gone.
We had joy, we had fun, we saved some worms , played too long in the sun.

You wore bright enough blue and flashed enough blade,
so every time when I was down,
crawling and feeling along without sound,
you'd help me find what I thought I'd lost. You knew I'd always come around,
and dig your edge back into the ground.

Good-bye to you my trusted friend.
Until spring is in the air
And roots and buds are everywhere
Until then, my heart wants there,
But alone you'll wait , quiet, without flair.