Maggie and I

maggie and the flowers
Maggie and the flowers.

The white garden is an amalgam of Zen meets Western excess. 

Morning coffee today was a sitting meditation. I feel renewed and centered which was my goal for the garden.

White gardens are known for projecting a sense of tranquility and quiet. Even though I scattered more blue and purple throughout than I had planned on, the effect is still the same.

Already, it feels like an oasis of peace.

Maggie joined me, choosing to sit near the petunias in silent meditation. She and I both lifted our faces to early sun and enjoyed the slight zephyr of late spring.  The scent of the garden encouraged deep breaths and breathe deeply, she and I did. 

While sometimes coffee is just a caffeine delivery system, other times it is spiritual experience. Today was such a day. The warmth of the cup, the wafting steam, and the soothing taste were exquisite. 

Geranium curves.
Geranium curves.

Maggie’s languid movements and obvious contentment were behaviors to emulate.  My behavior soon mirrored hers.

The breeze wasn’t enough to persuade the wind chimes, but their copper glinted in the sun. The grass was dew drenched, the flowers slowly opened, and bees droned.

Already, this little sanctuary of mine feels like an oasis of peace.

The shades of green are soothing whether it be the silvery-gray of dusty miller, the bright green of creeping phlox, the deep green of the roses or the bluish hue of the moss. The white blossoms glow in early dawn and at dusk – floral candlelight. The blues and purple bring out the shades of white.  I am pleased.

moss on the old tree
Moss on the old oak.

I had worried, a tiny bit, that when realized this new garden would be boring in its lack of color. Instead, it is all texture and shape, lines and curves, gentle arcs and points of light. 

There is a great density and variety of plants that belie the spare focus of true Zen, but I’m a woman raised in a Western tradition that adopts only those aspects that feel comfortable.  When the plants fill out, spread, and bloom there will be masses of each blending into one another.  The result will be a uniformity of diversity. 

I’m happy that my goals are unfolding in the way I had hoped, even if my plans change with the discovery of each new plant. There is still a great amount to do, but all things in time.  I’m right here, right now and it’s a good place to be.


morning glory and moonflowers

morning glory and moonflowers

I’ve had a very strange day.

I believe the term is gobsmacked.

I never saw it coming.

The story is complicated and not all that interesting; I’m far more intrigued with my reaction.

My biography is one of twists and turns, coincidences, joys, tragedies and so on that are not necessarily uncommon, but unusual in their frequency and persistence. If my life were a novel, no one would believe it. I know not to say never.

Even knowing that, I think we all have some experiences that we feel quite confident when putting it into the never column. That will never happen. I would never do that.

Today, I got hit with a never that I had felt comfortable with. I had examined it, studied it, and decreed, definitively, that this would never affect my life.

Here we are.

I am not upset – I’m actually a little amused though it’s not really a subject that is fodder for comedians. Still, as this post exhibits, I’m not willing to share this never and that in itself is unusual. I’m pretty open about things. I need to process, cogitate, mull, consider, research and niggle on it for a bit.

The timing of this is even stranger. I woke up to news that saddened me, but didn’t really affect my life other than to be concerned for a friend. Several hours later, that news now potentially applies to me, but I wasn’t saddened by the learning of it. The experience was more of an ah-ha…that explains it.

This may prove to be a seminal moment in a life of seminal moments.

Lest anyone fret, I don’t have some deadly disease, didn’t lose my job, am not pregnant, and my external life will not change to the casual observer. My inner life will be very different. I think.

I’ve mentioned several times that I can’t get morning glories or moonflowers to grow. They’re both common flowers that are considered invasive and many folk despair of ever getting rid of them once they plant them. I am uncommonly fond of both of them. They speak to me of home and hearth, comfort and simple pleasures. Common though they may be, I an enchanted by them.

Changing seeds, seeds of change.

Changing seeds, seeds of change.

I’ve followed the directions at least 50 times and, at most, got a couple of straggly morning glories and not one moonflower. I say, frequently, that I’m never going to get them to grow for me; that I’m cursed. Every year, I try again. Usually, I try twice each growing season.

Yesterday, I noticed the moonflowers had germinated and were poking up. Today, the morning glories emerged. I think this is the year.

While my never is not a garden variety invasive plant, it is a negative for many people, yet  I’m  enchanted. It explains a lot. It’s one less why in my whiny laments. Now, I understand.

This year, I went about germinating moonflowers and morning glory a little bit differently. I isolated the seeds in a pot, half drowned them for the first few days, and treated them with far more care than most people do. I was rewarded,

Change is not only inevitable; change is good. Following directions only works when it works. Never say never.


Not a good time for the <br>windshield wipers to go on the blink (again).
Not a good time for the
windshield wipers to go on the blink.

I’m tired of rain.

Oh sure, it was all good and fine up to a point, but not now. Not in spring. Not when I have gardening to do. Not when I need electricity.

I love summer storms – the ones that roll in about mid-July and punctuate my birthday month of August.

[Note: I’m turning 50 this year and am oddly excited about it. I haven’t set up a gift registry (yet?), so feel free to ask me what I want. ]

In a proper summer storm (July and August), I’m quite content to sit somewhere and watch the pyrotechnics in the sky. I have fond memories of Chef Boy ‘R Mine and I sitting on the floor looking out the glass doors and shouting “Boom in the sky!” when the thunder and lightening rolled. He was just 2 and initially fearful of the storm – I decided to make it fun for him and fun we had. There’s no sound in the world better than baby giggles.

Storms in May are another matter entirely. I can garden in the rain, if I have to, and I’ve had to. But now, we’re at that point where I’d like to sit out there and admire my handiwork. It’s one thing to work in the rain, but to just sit out there like a garden statue while getting soaked seems a little too eccentric even for me.  Especially when it’s not just rain, but torrents – the white water version of rain. 

[Note:  By the way, I’d like a garden Buddha for my birthday.  I’ll settle for a head, but I’d be tickled with a roly poly seated Buddha.]

Candlelight Blues
Candlelight Blues

It seems like it’s rained forever. Coming off the Winter from Hell, I am sick-to-death of stuff that makes my power go out.  So, if I can’t sit in the garden at my table with the fabulous floral centerpiece, I’d like to be here, cruising the web, maybe watch a movie and catch up with friends on Skype. Can’t do that either.   It would be nice to be able to cook dinner.  Baths by candlelight are sensuous and wonderful (even alone), but you can only sit in the bathtub for so long. 

Candlelight is not quite as romantic alone.

I can’t do laundry which has piled up to the ceiling during the great 2009 Gardenpalooza. Can’t vacuum. The batteries in my Itty Bitty Book Light have died. I’m getting cranky. What’s worse is that the power comes and goes. Just when I think it’s come back on, I lose it again. Living in a clearing in the middle of a forest, I’ve learned the inevitability of power outages during any kind of inclement weather, but that on/off stuff wears on my nerves.

Weather Dude says this pattern could last through the weekend. I’m not sure how many days in a row we’ve had rain, officially, but it seems like 971. I’ve had enough. I’m positively pruney (and not from marathon baths).

I am tired of rain. Really. Now, the laptop battery is dying (goodbye Freecell!). I’ll post this when the power comes back on for good or if it stays on long enough to do so.