Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Midsummer Report Card

Landing into the middle of my life-post vacation--last week put blogging into the back seat. I even knew what I wanted to write about but real life, my real work pressed upon me and I didn't sit down to the computer until today. I Being away from here made me realize how much I missed working in our yard and garden. Coming home to four foot tall tomato bushes and chard ready for harvest was particularly sweet. Hopefully, the huge tomato bushes aren't a lot of faulderah of greenery without the benefit of fruit. Summer has been rainy and on the cool side and even the foothills are still sporting their May greenery--a pleasant change--usually in July things are looking hot and limp like your well-heeled Alabama aunt on a Sunday afternoon in June. Working in the dirt in the mornings this past month has definitely taken the edge off my brittle personality. I feel invigorated and cleansed after long days of nursing. Everyday I am home, I find an excuse to work outside or just be outside. Ironically, the dark rainy days buoyed my spirits, too. Probably the novelty of it all. I loved working in the cool damp of the early mornings this June.

Last month the sky was tinged with light before five but this morning I noticed predawn is now later. insert audible and dramatic sigh here Fortunately, after next week, it won't be necessary to race to the south bed before the sun starts it's twelve hour march across my flowers. The Girl is so terribly ingenious, with help from our landscaper, she is installing an irrigation system to the flower beds and veg gardens. No more moving hoses around, making sure it isn't tangled or kinked, maneuvering around a dog prone to wandering, downspouts, and stepping stones.

I have learned a great deal from my first garden. The most important thing I have discovered is a new passion. In the nuts and bolts department of gardening, I've learned Bee Balm aka Burgamot will take over the world given half a chance; Verbena and lavender are well behaved Submissives and crave too much light and very little. My delicate Trollius has proven to be a finicky Madwoman of the attic so I've taken a great chance and moved her this morning to a shadier spot in the front yard. The only reason I haven't killed my yellow pet is because our summer has been temperate and wet. And who knew something named "Bachelor Button" would not relish full on sun. I was thinking: bachelor farmer. When the truth of the matter they resemble these fellows. (my plants have all taken on the persona of Victorian stereotypes, haven't they? I'm truly obsessed!)

I successfully transplanted zinnias to a bare spot in the veg garden. The Bee Balm has also been relocated to a spot where he can continue to spread his wings and take over a troublesome spot. Oldest Friend quipped that 80% of gardening is moving plants. Fortunately, I won't be moving that many plants but since I planted invasives I see digging, dividing and moving in my future. The goal is to commit Drive By Yarrow Drops in the middle of the night. The Girl tells me I have a green thumb but I'm not sure about this. I think it's forgiving weather patterns, dumb luck and passion. It was a humbling gift to enjoy the lovely chard which began as a seed in my window. I planted seeds on our snow day in mid April as a tonic against relentless winter.

So the question I'm pondering today is this: Does a passion for something constitute a gift? Does it matter if I am "gifted" if the act gives me this much joy?

I know you are all waiting with "baited breath" for my musings and sudden epiphany but a big question like this must germinate like my chard.

Meanwhile, it's time to don my large brimmed hat and make the weed rounds. Saturday is promising to be cooler and damp so moving the other Trollius plants and wane Batchelor Button will have to wait until then and I won't have to be in the yard by 0-gosh-thirty.

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