“One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” ~ Dale Carnegie
Archive for the ‘Roses’ Category
When Someone Deeply Listens To You ~ by John Fox
When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you’ve had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.
When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind’s eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered!
When someone deeply listens to you
your bare feet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.
Posted in Favorite Things, Hollyhocks, Roses, Strawberries, Succulents/Cacti, Sunday, Tomatoes, Uncategorized, tagged agapanthus, birdhouse, Brandywine, garden, garden blog, leaves, mint, Peanut, Peas, Potting Shed, Richard Le Gallienne, seedlings, Tomatoes on June 12, 2011| Leave a Comment »
I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.
–Richard Le Gallienne (1866–1947)
Well, the last week has simply been heaven. Every spare moment was spent planting the seedlings started during Spring Break. Several huge cans full of grass and weeds were pulled as well. There is still a lot to be done, but the garden looks tended again. It’s impossible to express just how good for me this process has been. My intellectual pursuits of the last 20 months were very intense and I had not been grounded in the way I need, which is that special brand of grounded I only get from, well, the ground. All head and no body makes one a bit insane after a time. The garden is medicine. My muscles are delightfully sore and I have a touch of color back in my cheeks. The weather was even on my side with cool cloud cover and a bit of rain midweek. The photos all came out with a bit of fog in the center, so I apologize for the quality – not worth retaking them though. Let’s just pretend that I was going for that vintage nostalgic hazy days of summer sepia toned wonder and call it a day. Later I’ll clean the lens, since I know I probably thumbed it with sunscreen. We get messy when we’re gardening 🙂
Somewhere around 42 Tomato seedlings went into the ground in various spots around the property. They had priority, of course. Those are the leftover winter peas drying on the tops of the stakes so I can plant them later.
The Artichoke seedlings, 4 of them, came from last year’s fruit.
I found a bird’s nest, probably doves, in a burrow on the ground in the meditation circle. This makes four nests that I save in a special place in the potting shed. They are among my favorite things.
The Hollyhock seedlings are from Andrea’s seeds, so of course I’m hoping for dark colored flowers!
Tom bought me an upside down hanging Strawberry planter so I would have more than just a few ripe ones at a time. He loves me.
There were at least three of these cans full of grass and weeds pulled out to make room for seedlings.
At a certain point, I had pulled out so many plants needing new homes, I had to spread out over the lawn. I find I have to make a mess before I can bring about any kind of order.
There is still a lot of transplanting to do; finding new homes for what I dug up, re-potting things that have grown out of their pots, moving all succulents and cacti to pots leaving more ground for herbaceous plants, etc…
When I get it all cleaned up, probably by the Full Moon this coming Wednesday, I’ll be able to sit in my rocking chair and celebrate with a juicy glass of wine. In the meantime, the bees are busy gathering pollen…
…the flowers are blooming…
…completely oblivious to the fact that I’m literally turning the entire garden upside down. The only ones to really notice have been the spiders, but we get along famously as long as we respect each others space.
“I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe
Today is Tuesday, so time to honor the Muse. Today, she takes the form of mentors, those people who come into your life and teach you things, and I would like to talk about my father-in-law who passed away last Wednesday. He leaves behind a very large family that adored him and a lifetime of friends who loved and respected him. He came into my life when I was still a very young woman, about 20 yrs old. He gave me a job when I desperately needed one and that’s how I eventually became a Northcutt myself.
There are many things I am grateful to him for, but the one I will highlight here is that he shared with me his knowledge of gardening, took me under his green thumb and taught me how to grow things. He had been a sharecropper in Oklahoma before moving to California all those years ago when so many people fled the dust bowl. He also had a small farm here in Ramona, Ca. By the time I met him he was mostly settled back into the suburbs just a few miles from where Tom and I live now, but his backyard was always lush and blooming with as much as would fit. The crowded state of my own backyard testifies to his influence: a little bit of lawn in the center with all the edges packed with fruits, vegetables and flowers.
He taught me how to grow peppers and potatoes and how to train vines, told me when to cut back my roses and to plant garlic under them to help keep bugs off, and how to cage my tomatoes. Thanks to him, I know about burying rusty nails in the dirt under a Hydrangea to change its color and many other nuggets of gardening wisdom and folklore that all seemed like magic in the beginning. He taught me to garden by the cycles of the moon and to read the Farmers Almanac, told me why things were not doing well and how to fix it. He told me to loosen up the dirt around the base of plants so they could breathe, answered all my questions and told me silly stories. Most impressively, he knew all of this without ever consulting the internet or a book.
Over the years he must have given me a hundred planting pots , every size and shape and material. He picked them up, along with the half dead plants that were in them, in alleys and abandoned lots, or from the recently vacated houses and apartments he was working on. We always had fun trying to bring those poor plants back to life and more often than not we had success. If I admired a plant, he would immediately whip out his pocket knife and give me a cutting, along with another pot and some dirt, and told me how to grow it. My hands were always dirty when I left his house, but they were never empty. Every time I visited we took a walk together around the yard to tour his garden, where he was always happy and always in denim overalls. We had to stop at every plant and discuss its progress, every bloom was appreciated and snails were collected and thrown over the fence – I won’t say in which direction 🙂 There was a turtle that lived in the yard and we fed it broccoli together. If there was something new growing, he told me all about it. Billy Wayne Northcutt taught me more about gardening than anybody else. It was something we had in common, besides Tom. He passed along to me one of his life’s passions and for that I will always love him and am deeply grateful that he took the time and effort to teach me something so important. Thank you, Billy, from the bottom of my heart.
If you have a mentor in your life, it is an honor, say thank you. If you are a mentor to someone else, it is an honor, say thank you.
Last week, I made a vow to make Tuesdays a day for inspiration and a special time to honor the Muse in whatever form she may come. Today, a rose and a friend…
by Steve Mitchell
no scent on the bloom
Very special thanks to Steve Mitchell: friend, poet, Haiku master, artist, painter, philosopher, wino…you know, all the good stuff! Steve has always been an inspiration to me because his house is filled with his own paintings and he’s the only man to have ever told me a Haiku knock-knock joke that he made up. Seriously. Who does that? Thank you, Steve, you inspire me to paint, even though I really don’t know what I’m doing.
Some people paint their world using words or ideas, others with flowers and colorful gardens, some with clothing, cosmetics, food or photographs. Whatever you choose, use your favorite colors, splash around in them and do not be afraid of extravagant flourishes. Even nature decides once in a while that a simple red rose is not enough and she creates the deepest, darkest, lush red she can find, just because she can.