Saturday, July 14, 2007

All Day in Eden

"My idea of gardening is to discover something wild
in my wood and weed around it with the utmost care
until it has a chance to grow and spread."

- Margaret Bourke-White
American photographer and photojournalist

Just spent a lovely day in the yard, mowing and weeding, planting and watering. I started at 10:30 this morning and didn't come in until 7:00 pm. Aside from taking rests and grabbing a drink of water, that is. Had lots of those.

Our yard is a double lot, so mowing takes awhile. Even with the new electric lawn mower, which I love! But I get a weird pleasure out of mowing, not the least of which is because I used to have a lot of allergy trouble with grass. I used to be unable to have the windows open when my dad mowed our lawn when I was a kid. So the delight of mowing never leaves me.

And I tend to gaze around at everything while I'm mowing, and I'll set the mower aside to weed if I see a spot that needs it. There's never any rhyme or reason to my time in the garden. I never carry an agenda with me. I relax when I garden, and I consider mowing part of tending my garden.

Of course, all that pushing and tugging does get tiring. But I'm tired in a wonderful way, not the usual way. And the garden is looking so beautiful. The yellow rose bush we planted in memory of my mom's sister, which we call the Aunt Sheila rose, is blooming right now and has such an intoxicating scent. The lavender is on the edge of blooming, the strawberries are ripe and numerous and the daisies bob merrily in the breeze.

There's a large section of the yard which we've left as a woodland garden. It's coming along very nicely, a mix between a true example of a woodland, and cultivated shade-tolerant garden plants. I'm trying to maintain a semblance of a natural eruption of plantlife within the woodland garden.

Every time one of my neighbors passes me when I'm in the yard, he tells me how wonderful it is compared to the yahoo who used to live here. We've been here 6 years now, but the trauma of this former resident must lurk close to the surface for him because he's been telling me that each time he sees me! He strolled up again this afternoon. Inside I laugh, but I can't bring myself to stop all his enthusiasm. I remember what the yard looked like when we got here.

My dog hung out with me all day, happy to be outside in the elusive sunshine. I even managed to wash her and hose her down, although she probably remembers it fondly as a great game of tag.

"Degged with dew, dappled with dew
Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
And the headbonny ash that sits over the burn.

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O Let them be left, wildness and wet:
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."

- Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844-1889, Inversnaid
Jesuit priest and Victorian English poet


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Wow. I wish I could spend that much time working on the yard; I've noticed weeds springing up amidst my portulaca. My back kills me before too long, sad to say, and it's back inside for me before it's back to bed with two Advil...

Devon Ellington said...

What a wonderful day! It's good to know that your careful stewardship of the property is appreciated.

Samantha Lucas said...

I'm soooo envious. My garden was destroyed last winter and then I moved a few weeks back, so I haven't started a new garden yet, but just wait till fall bulb season! lol :)

Great post.