Posted in Air, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Faith, Garden, Goals, Home, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, The Joy of Exercise, Walking & Wandering, Weather, Winter

In the garden

The Garden Window
The Garden Window

I may enter a zone of transcendence, in which I marvel at all the accidents of fate, since the beginning of life on earth, that led to my genes being created and my standing in this particular garden in a contemplative and imagining mind.  I’ve been reading recently how reflection evolved.  What a fascinating solution to the rigors of survival …  how amazing that a few basic ingredients — the same ones that form the mountains, plants, and rivers — when arranged differently and stressed could result in us.

More and more of late, I find myself standing outside of life, with a sense of the human saga laid out before me.  It is a private vision, balanced between youth and old age, a vision in which I understand how caught up in striving we humans get, and a little of why, and how difficult it is even to recognize, since it feels integral to our nature and is, but I find it interesting that, according to many religions, life begins and ends in a garden.

~ Diane Ackerman, Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden

Near sunset
Sunset light flows through the garden fence

I go out to the garden with a bucket, stretch my fingers into my gardening gloves, and kneel on the ground.  Mr. and Mrs. B, the former owners of the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, had chickens.  (Remember the rooster they left behind?)  The chickens must have laid a lot of eggs.  I know this because not all of the debris on the ground is plastic.  There are crushed egg shells everywhere.  Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the egg shells from the plastic, but I’m getting better at it.  I am building a large collection of plastic pieces, and a thought about using them passes through my mind.  What would it look like if I were to randomly glue them all onto a large canvas?  An abstract in debris.

A captured wish
A captured wish

I’m contemplating the garden path once again.  In that post I showed you a beautiful garden, the fence entwined with morning glories, Prince Owlbert at his post, the light warm and soft, the greenery lush.

Garden reality
Garden reality

That’s the lovely thing about photography as art.  I can show you the beauty that resides in the harshness of reality.  Editing life with visual poetry.

Prince Owlbert on his post.
Prince Owlbert, ever vigilant

Summer’s sumptuousness played its part in shielding what winter has exposed.  The thick vines and brush hid the trash underneath.  That’s true just about everywhere on the property.  Every day more is revealed.  Big plastic bins hiding in the marsh near the edge of the creek.  More bags of household trash found in the woods.  Windows, vinyl siding, roofing materials hidden in thickets.

A look at what I think was Mrs. B's flower garden near the sagging pergola and greenhouse.
A look at what I think was Mrs. B’s flower garden near the sagging pergola and greenhouse.

Back in the garden, as I look around, I realize that even with all the trash, this is, this will be, a very good garden.  I can visualize it in my mind, and if I can visualize it, I can bring it into being.  I don’t have to rely on visualization alone.  Go back to The Garden Path post again.  Look at how the tomato plants spill out through the fence.  With little care, because we didn’t have time for gardening last summer, the plants grew lavishly, lusciously, spreading far and wide.  The tomatoes were juicy and delicious and tasted of summer heat and sunlight.  I have never before seen tomato plants grow with such wild abandon.

A chair in the garden.  I wonder if I can clean it up and paint it?  I'll have to take a closer look next time I'm out there.
A chair in the garden. I wonder if I can clean it up and paint it? I’ll have to take a closer look next time I’m out there.

So.  The soil is good.  And the clean-up is coming along, slowly but surely.  I will plant tomatoes and peppers, lettuces and other greens (some kind of kale, I think, or Swiss chard), maybe some eggplant and zucchini.  I found a raised bed just outside the garden fence.  It was covered in vines, and I had no idea it was there until I started removing the vines.  It will make a wonderful herb garden.

Fencing
Fencing

A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.

~ Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education

Beginning
Beginning

That’s it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch for this chilly Friday.  It’s hard to believe that February is almost over, and we’ll be entering March tomorrow.  Spring seems so close if you look at the calendar, yet so far if you look at the weather forecast.  Winter keeps on keeping on.  We will have a warm-up this weekend before the next cold snap.  It will be a good weekend to work outside and get the gardens ready for spring.

Yucca yucca
Yucca yucca

Thank you so much for stopping by and having a look around the gardens with me.  Do you have any plans for the weekend?  If you’re free, come on over.  I could always use an extra pair of hands.  When we’re finished for the day, we can watch the sunset from the dock, then come back to the house for a bowl of excellent gumbo.  With Mardi Gras on the near horizon, I decided to do some Cajun/Creole cooking.  Once the gumbo is gone, I’m thinking jambalaya.  M will be making cornbread to go with it.  Good stuff.

Long shadows
Long shadows

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

A touch of sunset on the creek.
A touch of sunset on the creek.
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

24 thoughts on “In the garden

  1. Robin, I ache to get out in my garden too. This endless, nasty winter has the ground frozen solid. I yearn for milder, spring days. Would love to come and help you in the garden but I suspect yours is frozen too.

    Best wishes from Nova Scotia.

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    1. Thank you, Sybil. 🙂 The ground here has been freezing and thawing over the course of the winter months. It’s currently thawing, but winter is returning on Monday and will put an end to that. Ah well, spring will get here eventually.

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  2. ” Editing life with visual poetry.” You do a great job of this (and it’s a good time of year for cornbread….with some blackeye peas and a nice summer garden salad…well, with the right dishes we can pretend.) Enjoy the weekend. The cold’s supposed to hit again here Sunday – several duck flocks have settled into the little sheltered cove.

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    1. Thank you, PhilosopherMouse. 🙂 A small flock of ducks arrived here this week, enjoying the shelter of our lagoon. They’re awfully skittish so I’ve been unable to get a good shot of them. It seems to be a mix of Mallards and Black Ducks.

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  3. That chair is retro cool, but I think it might take a few coats of primer, and even then it looks as though if it was actually sat upon, one’s bum might just break on through to the other side.

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    1. LOL, eM! I really did (laugh out loud). You may be right. I’ll have a good look at it today when I’m out there, with The Doors in my head singing it. 🙂

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  4. I cannot wait to see your garden when it’s all finished, you will have made a HUGE difference! And I was thinking that the chair might be worth keeping, it’s a pretty chair, even in its current condition. I hope you can save it.

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    1. Me too, Michaela. There are three of those chairs out there (two are under the sagging pergola). It would be nice to clean them up, paint them, and at least use them as sculptures if not seats.

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  5. Potential! That is the word that pops to mind with the look around your gardens in the winter. Lots of work, yes, but if you do cultivate (pun intended!) your passion for gardening, it will be a labor of love. I’m even imagining what I would do (with unlimited funds of course! lol) with all those spaces! Good weekend on tap here: picking up Meghan from school for “spring” (ha, ha, not really!) break and heading to a Mardi Gras party. Tomorrow is a visit to a greenhouse for a spring bulb and flower show. Nice spring thoughts here, but winter is still holding us tight.

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    1. Maybe I’ll name them the Potential Gardens, Karma. Everything else seems to be acquiring a name around here. In fact, I love that for the flower garden because right now, it’s mostly a big space with a few bulbs and a rosebush. A Mardi Gras party sounds like lots of fun. Take lots of photos of the flowers when you visit the greenhouse. It’ll be good to see some color and hints of spring. 🙂

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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