Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Taking The Scarlett O'Hara Approach

Gad zooks, what a weird horoscope this week!

The month of August brought you some peculiar advances. You got a reward that didn't mean as much to you as it might have had you received it earlier. You outgrew an enigma that had puzzled and frustrated you forever. And you finally wriggled free of a shadowy game that you had been attached to long after it lost its power to educate you. As curious as these wistful breakthroughs have been, they are prologue to what's headed your way. Get ready to solve a problem you didn't even know you loved.

That's what I get for checking in with Rob this morning before I start to blog. I was going to blather on about heirloom tomatoes and large giggle inspiring phallic English cucumbers. But NoOOoOOooo Rob has induced more navel staring; staring I'm going to spare anyone who stumbles into my blog. I will say this, I've had wistful breakthroughs this summer, some I've shared here and some I am holding close. But this final line: "get ready to solve a problem you didn't even know you loved?" Oh for the love of God, what's next. I don't really want to know the answer to that question so I'm just going to let life unfold all by itself which is actually what I do best. Trying to control what happens around me only pisses me off when cosmic circumstances don't go. exactly. the. way. I. want. them. to. go.

So I'm going to put my fingers in my ears and sing "la-la-la-la-la- I‘ll just think about this tomorrow" and proceed with a blog about my garden.

It's the time of year when lettuce bolts and the kale gets crisp around the edges while the basil threatens to flower if I don’t harvest it for the freezer. The gaillardia daisies are spreading themselves a bit too thin and are lying (lying? lain? Bueller...anyone...seriously, email me with the correct tense) on their sides like drunken party girls the morning after, just before they resurrect themselves from a strangers bed or a friend's couch and make the inevitable "Walk of Shame". Pretty maroon petals are a bit mooshed and have dirt scattered over them, leaves a little limp, some blossoms are face down while others are to the side; only a few are left standing. The coreopsis are being over taken by zombie blossoms and hopefully my diligent deadheading on Sunday will stave off the winter and the zombie attack for a few more weeks. My lavender is thriving this late summer as are the cone flowers and weedy looking sunflowers. The sedum has been diligently plodding their way towards pink. Novice that I am, I made some tactical errors in planting the front bed and ended up not only with very tall bee balm in the front but one single four o’clock that has defied the back of the package and is at least 48 inches tall! It's standing in the front of my cheerful and completely utilitarian blanket flowers; reminding me of the pretty little girl in your first grade class who always won the spelling bee, spoke two languages, played the violin and had a mother who looked like a 1955 version of Elizabeth Taylor. You know the one, she would push herself to the front of the kindergarten choir or cry if she didn't get to be the princess in the play. The Ieneangabe (TG's German word for show off) girl everyone secretly deplored and feared but every mother privately wished her little girl would be.

Despite my obvious issues with show offs I'm not moving the heavily laden shrub because I'll kill it at its peak. That seems like an unfair end to a plant that didn’t actually ask to be up front and center stage. But I have started moving my mistakes and hopefully not killing them in the process. I have moved one of the drunken and unkempt gaillardias and a couple of the zombie threatened coreopsis now live in different spots and are languishing this morning. As a novice I also ended up with big clumps of yellow or too much red in spots so I'm spreading the wealth of colors. Hopefully I haven't killed my perennials in my quest for aesthetic perfection.

I'm already shopping for seeds and have a different plan for the veg garden next year. I'm including a wider variety, having learned to make better use of my little space. Namely, the "Breakfast Bar" (TG‘s clever nickname for the sunflowers) took up too much room and had the audacity to turn their lovely heads away from the backyard and directly into the path of the greedy squirrels who hurl themselves at the heads making a snack of things (plus a mess on the ground below). Next year, we shall have yellow beets, fancy French green beans, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, garlic, English peas, and a staggered crop of lettuces. I can’t wait. This garden is feeling like the end of a love affair. You know the type, it leaps into your life in a swell of passion and pheromones but then a few months later. Nothing. Nada. What was your name again? (Lesbians specialize in this sort of serial monogamy, or some I’m told)

I've selected the bulbs I'm setting out in a few weeks and will have a variety of tulips, very fragrant old fashioned purple iris, white iris and red hyacinths. My goal like most gardener‘s goals is to have nonstop varietals color from May until October. Our growing season is so short here. I don't think I will ever get used to daffodils blooming in May rather than late February. So I feel I must take advantage of the short season with wild bursts of color to brace me for the onslaught of the dead winter colors. It feels akin to what the French must have experienced when they knew the Nazi's were nearing Paris and they tried to drink all the champagne and hid the art.

It's been such a strange, exciting, sad, happy, thrilling, sobering week at my house I can't seem to wrap my head around it so I'm leaning towards the whimsical and when I have a bit more chronographic distance I can probably explain what it means to watch my son take an oath more important than the one I took about twenty-six years ago; an oath I'm not even sure I could uphold. But enough of that! Let's talk about how silly Kipper looks in this picture!


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