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Category — Gardens and Libraries

You Are Here

What are your most basic questions? My first question has always been “What’s going on here?” Then “What’s really going on here?” Sometimes not easy questions to answer, but important to whatever comes next.

Don’t you love the maps found in large shopping malls or office complexes? The first thing you see is the circle with the X inside it saying “You are here.”

“Oh,” you say, “This is where I am, so now I know which direction to turn to get to where I want to be.”

Without the knowledge of where you are, you can’t know how close or far away you are from your destination. Just so, it’s important to know where you are in the great scheme of things in life. This question presupposes that you know something about the big picture and something about your destination (destiny).

And within these questions: “Who am I?”

My mother always told me, “Just be yourself, and you’ll be fine.” But who is that self? And how do you find out? [Read more →]

September 10, 2008   4 Comments

The High Brix Garden (To Which I Aspire, Fairly Soon, Perhaps)

Days of driving rain, then more days of blast-furnace heat in which I’ve been so busy I haven’t even ventured out to look at my little gardens. I suppose I could take at least two different perspectives on my projects, the first being horrendous failure.

The weeds (mostly grass) are taller than many of the things I’ve planted and are in the process of reseeding themselves. Most everything looks puny or a little blighted. The potato plants simply shriveled up before blooming, the zucchini blossoms stay on the stem but don’t bear fruit, the basil looks a tad pale, and the cilantro has bolted, gone to seed, and turned a crispy brown. It looks pretty awful, I must say.

On the other hand, [Read more →]

August 10, 2008   No Comments

Independence Day

July 4th dawns hot and bright, with no rain clouds in sight, yet. Rain expected later today.

Encouraged by the application of nutrients, the kitchen garden boasts tiny green tomatoes, one cucumber, greening parsley and basil, and a few baby peppers. 

Here in the United States, some consider this day a solemn time to contemplate the ideals upon which our country was founded. For many, it’s a day of barbeques, parties, marching bands, patriotic speeches, and trimmings of red, white, and blue.

As with most holidays, Frank and I like to spend this day alone together in blessed quiet with our books, journals, and Baroque music, preferably Bach.

But the thought of marching bands takes me back to [Read more →]

July 4, 2008   No Comments

Rain Gardens

Rain, rain, rain nearly every day. When the rain stops, the sun creates a steambath effect.

When I got out of work a little early, stopped by a garden center to pick up bee balm, Russian sage (such a heavenly scent), rudibeckia (in memory of my friend Becky), black sweet potato vines, artemesia, diantha, blue salvia, and hen and chickens. Most of these plants were distressed and half-priced, so I brought them home to heal.

My garden assistant planted them around the little mailbox garden by the road. He also worked 40 pounds of cow manure and compost into the soil of the kitchen garden.

July already, and still no big garden. As I look out at the field of mostly white clover that is the front yard, I begin to come to terms with the thought that the garden of my dreams is not yet to be. Why disturb the feng shui for now? I don’t deal well with heat and humidity. Perhaps a fall garden, perhaps a spring garden next spring, perhaps not at all.

One thing I do know for now is [Read more →]

July 3, 2008   2 Comments

My First Moleskine

As a long-term keeper of journals, over 30 years now, I’m amazed that I’ve just ordered my first Moleskine. Oh, I’d heard about them and read about them, and in my head, I pronounced it in two syllables: mole-skin or mole-skine.

Then at the journal conference, I saw and examined several of them (Thanks guys!) and felt the heft and richness. And acid free!

Although I spend much of my time now journaling in computer programs, my introduction to journals and diaries was on paper. When I’m tired, stressed, or ill, I love to speak one of my favorite phrases: [Read more →]

June 27, 2008   2 Comments

Decoration Day

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need,” wrote Cicero. My family had both.

Part of what I want to accomplish with this blog is to revisit the Edens of my childhood and remember the strengths, gifts, and trainings I received from my wonderful extended family, all of whom were dedicated gardeners, readers, and reciters of poetry.

On this Memorial Day here in the US, I think of all those who have died for our freedoms. May we never take them for granted. On this day, too, my mind takes me back [Read more →]

May 26, 2008   3 Comments