Friday, May 28, 2010

Object at rest...

I am doing what I can to relinquish my lust for control, or my crazed desire for some semblance of autonomy, which may have something to do with the routine I've been running lately, of treating my body as a crude machine (a bit of fuel, some fire, exhaust...) but today I had to just give it up.  I had the wisdom yesterday to know I couldn't possibly go to work today, but my hope was to spend a long a sunny day getting prep work done on the new spaces in the backyard, breaking up the soil and turning in some of that composted manure, so they'd be ready for planting when I get home on Monday.  Instead I slept in, had breakfast and then curled up on my rug for a couple more hours' of unintended sleep (with the broiler on for all that time, I might add).  My eyes were actually rolling around in my head, I'm so tired, so polluted, so weary maybe.  Fuel, fire, exhaust, won't get you anywhere on a flat.  Or four.

Anyway, I've only enough time this afternoon to get the place cleaned up, water all the plants and pack up, which sorta stinks because there's enough here to keep me occupied at a pleasant sunny pace for three days, easily...I've got trees and shrubs and flowers and herbs and fruits and veggies sitting in flats, still alive, but waiting...hopefully they can hang on for a few more days.  I already lost one of the artichokes and the bitterroot is looking pretty unhappy, but the rest of them seem to be doing all right.  Just wish I had the time to take the time, work at my pace for a few days, even relax maybe, instead of the weather or someone or the frigging universe constantly intervening to with that big "Don't Panic" sign, reminding me that there are an infinite number of ways to let it all go.  And speaking of going...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wow, honestly

My peonies are in full bloom, hung over with heavy blossoms of white kissed just there by dark and luscious red, of deeply blushing rose...unkempt ruffles of silk, so soft on the hand, the shoulder, the cheek...their fragrance fills the yard, even while it rains; it fills the house, day and night...a vase bedside perfumes my sleep, wakes me gently... So lovely, so lovely, and there are more to come, deep purple behind the back fence... What a luxury it is, to love a flower!  I cannot but breathe this sweetness...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sod-kicker blues

before kicking

So you need at least one good leg to use a sod-kicker.  I found that out yesterday when, after delivering kick number four, I felt a sharp pinch in my left hip…  Turned out it was nothing, or at least not enough to keep me from tearing up a good portion of the back yard, around the bee hive and under the maple, along the north and south fences, in the shady back corner and around the patio… About halfway through this operation I started to wonder if I have, indeed, lost my mind and am turning into Crazy Yard Lady.  I’ve already got more square footage than I can handle and now I’ve added about half again that much.  If there’s anything I would like to avoid doing—ever—it’s biting off more than I can chew, but I think I’ve come to the point where chewing is no longer feasible; it’s just gulp and swallow hard, stuff the next chunk in… Has to be done, though.  I need a home for my herbs and strawberries, and I need to plant a barrier to separate my existence from Crazy Cat Lady’s.  I need to see something transformed.  After experiencing the metamorphosis of the front garden at my folks’—which actually changed lives—I know it’s possible.  And it cannot wait until next year.  So, off with the lawn.

Yet already I’ve had to call on others to assist (thank you, wonder twin powers!), like a kitten up a tree, a baby bird too big for the nest but crying to have another wriggling worm shoved down my gullet… Speaking of which, I must say I am truly impressed by the quality of the soil in my yard and the multitude of earthworms living in it, a number which has perhaps doubled due to the “stock split” precipitated by the sod cutter, although many of those that escaped being sliced in half were then brutally pulverized by the edge of my trowel as I whacked the dirt free from clumps of grass.  Still a lot of whacking to go yet.  Hopefully having turned much of the sod over to let it dry out in the sun will give the worms a chance to squirm to safety before the next round of beatings begin.

Speaking of which, when I returned the sod-kicker this morning I felt that pinch again, the twinge in my left hip and leg, strongly enough that I had to catch my breath once or twice and remind myself to just let it go...clutching is only going to make it hurt more, and only by releasing into and out of it will I be able to know what the trouble is so that it might be healed and allowed to heal. I know this to be true, but this is exactly what I have NOT been doing during the past few weeks, by any measure.  It’s as if I’d been hit by a car and thrown from my bike, all scuffed up and with a broken wrist, and my response was to berate myself for the idiocy of bike-riding, scour my scrapes with Scotch-Brites as penance and then put in some practice time on the ol’ punching bag to toughen up that weak joint.  Anyway, I’m done with that for a few days, or at least I’m going to lay off the punching bag routine for a while.  But if anyone else out there wants to take a shot, you may as well go for it.  I'm going to go plant my peach.

 after kicking

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May garden






(do you see the owl?) 

shady corner

behind the fence, under the light: hosta, heuchera, convallaria, polemonium, alchemilla, viola

dug in a bit today, close to done with phase one of the first garden, in the fenced corner between the house and the lilac.  lady ferns, foxglove, goatsbeard, meadow rue, lily-of-the-valley, jacob's ladder (variegated and not), solomon's seal (variegated cultivar), johnny-jump-ups, violets, hostas (big blue and painted green with yellow), purple-stemmed royal fern, zig-zag goldenrod, virginia bluebells, japanese painted ferns, korean beauty clematis, lady's mantle, coral bells, still a few spaces to fill with toad lilies, nodding ladies' tressess, others.  some moved in from the boulevard, others are new.  thanks to sis for help clearing the space.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.

Having spent the better part of three days (and a small fortune) at the Friends School Plant Sale, I am now officially committed to digging into my new place.  With help and inspiration from my mom and sisters I returned with no fewer than five flats of flowers, ferns, grasses, vines, herbs, medicinals, natives and a few veggies, along with a couple shrubs, a Red Lake currant bush and a Reliance peach tree.  To my dismay, the Persian lime and satsuma mandarin suffered crop failures and the Turkey fig sold out, but I picked up my Sapphire Tower and scored an extravagant passionflower at half-price.  There was no monkshood to be had, but an enchanting Witch Alder and a beguiling Witch Hazel readily cured me of any disappointment.  I've got Toad Lilies, Spiderwort and Goatsbeard, oh my.

The weather on Friday was miserable and Saturday was chilling, although it was beautiful to see the vibrant budding colors of May cloaked in white for a time, despite the slight damage it may have done to those most tender.  Things brightened on Sunday and warmed up a bit, but between the frozen wet and the sale, we didn't end up getting any of the yard turned over, which was actually just fine by me.  Rain today and in the days ahead means I'll have a few more evenings to plot things out before I set to work tearing up the lawn, another welcome respite from actually having to get to work... CM kindly delivered me a nice big pile of shit as a birthday gift, so I've got a good supply of composted manure to help get things started, once the sun comes around again.

The perennials in my gardens are filling out quickly and somewhat ahead of schedule due to the early Spring, making it easier for me to see how much space I really have to work with here.  It's quite a bit; by my rough calculations, I've got around 1200 sf of "finished" garden space plus around  200 to be dug up in the back, not counting another 200 or so of raised beds for herbs and veggies, etc. that have yet to be created or the eleven window boxes and planters to fill.  Should be enough to keep me busy for a while.

I went back home for the evening on Friday, to see my niece as Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream.  She was the essence of grace and presence, naturally, and the show was rather surprisingly well-played by the whole troop, with a few standout performances that kept the crowd laughing for two good hours.  It was a bit of a trip for me, down memory lane (as it were), having played Hermia years ago in a similar production, and a singing Mustardseed in another sometime after that.  It's hard to imagine that so much time has passed.  Yet so it does.  Another year of my life has ended, and begun, and it is what it is, isn't it?

Be as thou was wont to be;
See as thou wast wont to see.
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
Hath such force and blessed power.

I find in my long-neglected copy of The Riverside Shakespeare these words, a parking ticket now fifteen years overdue and a monologue transcribed by my own hand, oddly befitting but of unremembered origin...I should memorize a few, perhaps, to recite when I am older.  Language lives on the tongue--but what am I talking about?  I've lost track.  Anyway, I would like to send my deep and abiding love and gratitude to my dear mother and sisters, for time spent these days past, and to the future you continue to inspire, to cultivate, and to dream.  I know a bank where the wild thyme grows...


Sunday, May 9, 2010

To My Mother

There is the drink,
the last drop of everything.

There is moon, by night urging
roots into the ground,
the height of knowing.
By day she passes over,

sometimes invisible
where hopefully then birds
and fruit begin to sing and blossom
In the wild of our hearts

the stars speak loudly
without care or need for care
where others tread.  We
are known because

you have known us,
known the space between
what we love,
and what we do not

the last drop of everything

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

r E v o l u t i o n

Too Good Not To Share: Go here, then go to the right side of your screen and play 'Natural Selection' and listen for a while, at least until you get to 'Creationist Cousins'... 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Goings On

 How quickly things change...The flowering crab in my front yard has rather suddenly lost her blush and stands now white and exposed, to the point of dropping her blossoms all over the place.  But just a few days ago, she was still pretty in pink:

Last week I spied the Columbine tentatively feeling its way (with webby tentacled nodding sea-horse heads) into the new air,

and by week-end, it was all like, Hey, check me out!   (Never been a big fan of native cultivars, but this one does make itself known, I'll give it that.)

Friday I got my groove on for the first time here, and it felt really good.  Saturday I cut the grass (knee-high and) barefoot, in cashmere, a pleasure of another sort.  On Sunday I joined the joyful masses over at the May Day celebration and upon my return home, found these new shoots of happiness in my backyard.  About half of them are up now, making a go of life in a box.  (Would I could do the same....)

Today I noticed that, in spite of my precise and merciless efforts to cut them down and roll them into submission, the dandelions that were lollygagging around my backyard a couple days ago are now back on their feet and asking for more...  And they're going to get it, too, those sunny little blowhards.  Eventually.