Tag Archives: Garden

Comfort in stormy weathers

July started with the “thunder moon”.  Every storm that visits here brings rain, sometimes just a dust settling drizzle, other times it’s a big wash. But always we are grateful for the rains. While we live near a city reservoir, out own precious water comes from our well. IMG_6197

The rains have brought luxuriant  growth to garden plant and weed. Every time I think I have gotten control of a bed – rains come, hidden seeds sprout and I start over. My progress in garden weeding is slow.

 

With every pending storm, the air stirs the tree tops into a frenzy and when the wildness stops, I am again surprised at how much dead wood has been held in the tree tops, waiting for the shaking down for my exercise routine.

The glorious show of daylily bloom is slowly giving way to green again but these blooms, while few, are stunning – IMG_6194 and in the background, the Butterfly Bush is beginning its season.

The other week, I mentioned the wild dogwood – cornus alternifolia – Pagoda Dogwood – is my id of it. I neglected to show this bird treat tree in that post. IMG_6177The seedling planted itself under a maple tree many years ago. I thought it was a Flowering Dogwood as we have many planted by birds and squirrels. Only as the years went by, I realized the leaves were a bit different. Early, I tried to straighten it, but it chooses to grow leaning out from under a maple to face into the morning sun.

All the quiet, slow, solitary activity of summer days allows me time to tidy my soul as well. Reminiscence and introspection seem to go round with me as peaceable companions in my chores and I learn from them.

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My favorite thing to have with early morning wonder time is iced coffee. I’ve been using the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for several years now, Perfect!

Unexpected visitors in the garden

It was oppressively hot for several days so I had good excuse for not being outside. Strolling the internet, I came to Martha’s place and found her hints on cleaning shears and knives with white vinegar. It is embarrassing to admit how grungy my tools get, but here is the sad truth IMG_6139 just a small photo; they are so badly in need. I put on an apron and gathered my supplies and the results were gratifying. A rinse, dry in the sun and lube in the old “joints” and they are ready for work again. IMG_6140

There is no photo to prove it but I would not make up this terrible news. I was sitting at the kitchen table when something caught my eye and I was so glad the door was closed as the now resident groundhog brushed up against the screen. I think he was not expecting to see me and he turned and run down the path, across the yard and back to the shed, where he perched on the wall and I was glad I could not hear him ranting his displeasure. We are sure he lives underneath the shed and while he does, I don’t go back there. Do you know that Groundhogs can climb trees? And if trees, why not to the top of sheds with trees around them? My nephew said he saw them in trees on his property a few years ago, I hoped he was just joking, but not. If you have an interest in them, here is fascinating  information – the thought of them having homes like a mine under my yard is disconcerting.

And now, IMG_6157. This may not look like much, but that is a tunnel crafted along the rock path. Now there is one down the other side and more branching off in all directions. Moles.

One of our first years here, we caught one. I thought it was cute. I was the ignorant city girl who grew up with story book animals.  I would not let my husband kill it, I thought if he just took it to the very back of our three acres, it would wander happily into the field beyond. It probably did. Where in the way of storybook moles, it was hailed as a returning hero by its brethren who followed him in a great pioneering contingent to fully invade the yard several days later.

Add these to the daily deer who huff at me when I am bold enough to step outside.

To console myself, each day of the heat wave I brought in day lilies for the table. Soothing consolation in each bloom. Distraction too from the pending war on the invaders.IMG_6152

 

 

 

Little faith

Last September, I wrote about finding seed clusters in the spent Calla Lily blooms. I waited and on October 31, I gathered my harvest. calla lily seeds

calla lily seeds Tiny seeds sloughed from corn like coatings. One can find anything on-line but directions are not the same as in person tutoring to me and I was left with this small collection of seeds to protect till spring. I put them in a small cardboard box and while I didn’t forget them, I also didn’t plant them as directed. But on a putter-y kind of day in early June, I sprinkled them in a pot.  My little seeds were faithful to their calling to live and sprang up!

calla lilies

They have been growing well and I’ve transplanted them into another pot.  Rain and sun will nourish them well.

cally lily seedlings

There are some areas of my life where seeds of faith lie scattered in the soil of my heart. I’m encouraged that like the Calla Lily seeds, these faith seeds are growing good roots.

June Days

The Everyday Garden

IMG_6039 I usually tidy the garden before I gather the beauty into a photograph. But this first view is like life, it’s all messy with yesterday still hanging about distracting from the beauty of the new day.

IMG_6041 It only takes about 5 minutes to tidy away yesterday; the new day’s offering is no longer obscured and the promise of beauty for tomorrow shows beautifully. In the Everyday Garden of my soul, it is much the same. If I will remind myself that His mercy and compassion fail not and are new every morning because He is faithful to care for me, I can let go of yesterday’s beauty and pain. Then the beauty of the new day can unfold.

Gentle Shepherd

Storm Season begins

The frequent warnings of storms, flash floods, possible tornadoes, and rip tides become part of the forecast. Storms can be very local with some areas getting very little while others have downpours and hail and flooding.

A week ago, we had a late afternoon of heavy rain. Hubby had decided the forecast was dire enough that he went into town for take-out in case of power failure here. He was back just in time to be inside as the heavens seemed to burst open in darkness. As the evening went on, the rain stopped but an ominous, eerie green light began to show in the windows. Naturally, I went outside!

clouds I have never seen these cloud formations here before nor this color of sky.

clouds  clouds

My brother tells me that in his part of the country, the green sky signals hail. While we had just a few pea size pieces fall, less than 10 miles away 4 inch hail was a destructive force and flash flooding was destroying property. Ominous clouds indeed. I came in and while later I could see a different glow in the sky.

clouds And the mammutus clouds fade away…

 

 

Luminous life

White flowers offer us luminous, glowing life in a garden.

collage of white

They bring a cooling refreshment to my soul. Many years ago I read about moon gardens – gardens to delight by moonlight.

Mountain laurel

I have planted many white and light colored flowers to capture the glow as the summer night settles in. Like moonlight itself, there is a kind of comfort from their glow in the dark; fragile beauty lighting the night.oakleaf hydrangeaI’ve also learned that some plants only give out their fragrance in the dark hours.

Sometimes the fragrance of love can seem most fragile and exquisite in dark hours too. Even as a long distance watchman, I could hear it, sense the beauty and the fragrance, hear the heart cry  as another beloved family member slipped from the darkness of this life into brilliance – luminous, glowing beauty beyond our knowing.

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, 

And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.          Psalm 36: 7-9 NKJV

Tradescantia

Paint Box – Greens

Spring explodes like a paint box come to life; spilling across the browned winter weary landscape. First, the greens come.

I recently learned a new word. Viriditas. My high school Latin teacher would be amazed! Viriditas means “greenness” – vitality, lushness, verdure, fecundity, growth.  I am grateful to Mandy for sharing this word and its connection to Abbess Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). It seems a perfect expression of the living green captured by the soul as the light dances over grass and leaf life.

viriditas

He makes me lie down in green pastures… He restores my soul.

 

St Fiacre

Many years ago, in an herb gardening book, I read that this 7th century hermit was the patron saint of gardeners, and of course, herbalists. I have often passed by this small statue without realizing that it was not St Francis but rather St Fiacre who is depicted in art with his shovel. His gardens and herbs of legend were used to minister to the sick and visitors of his day and so make him appropriate to this quiet hospital garden.

St Fiacre

Rest Stops

August was full of good things but they all came packaged in my busyness. After a brief rest,  I started back on the busy in a small garden space in need of attention. Once again, green stopped me for a moment to let me breathe in refreshing rest.

green moth

The lovely winged creature lingered and I found again the longing within to see deeply, resting in the beauty.

The living green of creatures and leaves and grass captures my soul as light dances over and through them.

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A long ago shepherd boy understood and sang, “He makes me lie down in green pastures… He restores my soul”*. I hear the song in my own heart.

*Psalm 23

 

Flowery spidery beauty and an update

Cleome – I first met this flower in my sister’s garden. Its prickly stems made me take a step back and only admire them there.   cleome

Fast forward to these fighting-the-deer-in-the-gardens years and a friend offered seedlings with the words, “The deer don’t eat them.” Suddenly spiny stems  were appealing and I gratefully planted them.

I love the airy beauty and amazingly complex flowers that bloom through the long summer and fall days. I love that they are at home here and freely reseed. I love seeing them from the swing and I smile as they glow pin and lavender and white in the ever changing light of day.

cleome

I’ve learned they have common names like Spider Flower, Spider Legs, or Grandfather’s Whiskers.

I thought I would include an update on the resident deer family who love fresh rain drenched hydrangea with tomato, pepper, and sunflower salad – they pick their own!

deer

 deer