Lilacs on a bush are better than orchids. And dandelions and devil grass are better! Why? Because they bend you over and turn you away from all the people and the town for a little while and sweat you and get you down where you remember you got a nose again. And when you’re all to yourself that way, you’re really yourself for a little while; you get to thinking things through, alone. Gardening is the handiest excuse for being a philosopher. Nobody guesses, nobody accuses, nobody knows, but there you are, Plato in the peonies, Socrates force-growing his own hemlock. A man toting a sack of blood manure across his lawn is kin to Atlas letting the world spin easy on his shoulder.
~ Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine
If we were having coffee, tea, or whatever your beverage preference happens to be, I would be thrilled to see you again. Hugs if you’re amenable to them. Come on in and make yourself at home! We’ll grab something to drink and something to eat from the kitchen, and have a seat out on the porch. After another rain-filled week, the sun has come to visit today. The clouds and rain will be back later, but tomorrow, it is foretold, it will be sunny again.
How are you? What you have been doing (or not doing) lately? Have you traveled anywhere or seen anything new? Have you made any discoveries close to home? Has the past week been a happy week, a sad week, a mix of the two, or something in between? Have you taken the time to stop and enjoy the present moment? Have you read any good books or seen any good films?
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I finished reading The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield. I really enjoyed it, and a sure sign that I really enjoyed it is that I didn’t want it to end even though I knew it must end. It gave me the urge to read Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights again. I may satisfy that yen by watching the 2011 version of Jane Eyre with Mia Wasikowska. I haven’t seen it yet, and just moved it up on my Netflix queue.
I am currently reading Alive: Book One of the Generations Trilogy by Scott Sigler. It’s a YA (Young Adult) novel, and I’m not quite sure how I ended up with it on my reading list, but I’m guessing it was an NPR book review that brought it to my attention. I don’t often dip into YA books, but every now and then one will grab my interest. The Hunger Games trilogy, for example, was recommended by a family member whose reading tastes are similar to mine. I enjoyed all three books (and the movies, but haven’t yet seen the last one which just popped up on my Netflix queue to be sent out soon). As for Alive, I’m more than half way through. It’s a fast read. I don’t think I’ll bother with the rest of the trilogy. I’m usually pretty good at ignoring certain aspects of How Things Work in the Real World when I read fiction, but in the case of Alive, I’m struggling with that. It could be that the story just isn’t for me, but we’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out. The book did make it past my 50-Page Rule (if I’m not into it by page 50, I give up and give the book away) so it’s not that it’s bad or poorly written. In fact, there are suspenseful and compelling elements of the book that have kept me turning the page. It’s the kind of book that I want to like, and feel I should like, but for some reason it isn’t quite doing it for me.
If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that in spite of this week’s rainy weather, I’ve been spending a great deal of time outdoors. I’ve been cleaning up the scrounger’s garden which mostly involved weeding. A lot of weeding. Lazy gardener that I am, I let things go past the point of easy clean up. The mint runs rampant on that section of property, and presents an almost-constant battle. It smells great, though, so I’m not going to complain about it. You are probably familiar with the scent of newly mowed grass. Now let your mind and nose imagine what it’s like mowing a lawn filled with mint. Nice, isn’t it? The roses over that way are just beginning to bloom, and the combination of mint and rose perfumes is pretty heady stuff.
The zinnias I started from seed in the greenhouse are finally planted and are thriving so far. Not that it’s difficult to grow zinnias. Their easiness is one of the reasons I plant them every year. The butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds love them, too. Speaking (or writing) of hummingbirds, they have been here for a few weeks now, and there is a beautiful male Ruby-throated hummingbird who has been checking me out and humming around me when I’m working in the garden. I think he’s trying to tell me to get the feeder put up. I plan to do that today.
M and I took a short trip down to a nursery in Virginia last weekend (which I would have told you about then if I hadn’t missed our coffee chat last week) and picked up quite a few nice plants for the scrounger’s garden and the area I’m now thinking of as the future forest garden where we cleared out a mess of trash and multiflora roses so we could plant trees. I finally have a willow in the scrounger’s garden, something I’ve been wanting to put in there since we moved here. For the future forest garden, I picked up a fern, a leopard plant, and one Virginia bluebell plant. If you’re wondering why I went with just one of each, it’s simple. The wildlife. I don’t know what the deer and rabbits will eat and what they will leave alone. The fern, leopard plant, and bluebell have been in the ground for a week now and nobody has eaten them. Yet. I know that sometimes it takes a while for the critters to find things.
This week I went to a local nursery to pick up some annuals for the scrounger’s garden. I ended up with a couple of dahlias, some snapdragons (they remind me of my childhood), marigolds for the borders (because the bunnies don’t seem to like them), and a red flower whose name escapes me at the moment. I’ll fill it in if I happen to run out to the garden before I finish this post, but in the meantime, I think of it as a Fire plant. Perhaps it will balance out the Ice Plant I put in a portion of the scrounger’s garden where I couldn’t get anything to grow. I may regret that decision if it takes off and takes over. Then again, perhaps it will stymie the growth of the mint.
Two of the lavender plants I planted — one last year and one the year before — in the scrounger’s garden are doing really well and will be blooming soon. The third lavender, a different variety (I can’t remember what it was but have a record of it in the garden diary that we keep in the greenhouse), didn’t survive the winter. The sage and rosemary survived quite well, and the sage is blooming.
If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would tell you that I have been marveling at the plants throughout all the dreary, rainy weather we’ve had. Anyone who has walked in a garden or photographed plants on a dark and cloudy day will probably already know that something magical happens on gloomy days: the flowers, trees, and other plants appear to glow. It’s almost as if they are giving back the sunlight they absorbed when it was bright and sunny.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have rambled enough for now and turn things over to you. Would you like to take a walk while we chat? We can go out to the gardens to see how the new flowers are doing and then venture out to the dock where we can sit on the bench for a little while. Eventually I will have to go back to the garden to work for a few hours. Stay as long as you like. If it looks like we’ll be able to see the sunset, let’s go down to the Point and watch. It’s been a while since I’ve been down there. Sunset is at 8:06 PM. Stay for dinner, too, if you have time. I think we’ll be grilling some fresh, local fish.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare. Thank you to Diana for hosting it. Also, a big congratulations for the #WeekendCoffeeShare being featured on WordPress’s Daily Post. So glad to see it being shared among the rest of the community! Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us. I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.