Morning Is Broken

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word
[sung by Cat Stevens – lyrics by Eleanor Farjean]

Just like sunflowers

I’m slowly learning to be more sensitive to where the sunshine arrives and travels so that my seedlings are placed to gain the light they need to grow.

All this time here at the new place, the sun has been rising over the roof of our neighbors’ huge place to the east. This morning, the sun rose north of their mansion, enough north that it struck me as rather weird to have the sun rising in the North. The seedlings and cats were confused as well, all leaning north toward the light.

Once I realized that the plants knew more than I did, I scrambled to get everyone into the right place to catch the light they needed. Well, every plant. The cats took care of their sun-catching positions themselves.

Is it cauliflower soup yet?

Out here in the desert with no moss on the trees, we rely on natural clues like the way the plants reach for the sunshine, the cast of shadows at certain times of day, the shiny print on road signs (South Main should be toward the South, right?), and the good ol’ dashboard GPS in the truck.

The truck was smart enough to tell me that North is actually THAT-a-way, not over where I thought it was, based on the direction of the street. In fact, it’s so far that-a-way that it’s almost where I thought West was. So the north side of the house could actually be the north-EAST side of the house.

It doesn’t matter which way the sun shines in, so long as (a) the seedlings get the prescribed amount of sunlight each day – 6 to 8 for most of them – and (b) the cats get the prescribed amount of sunlight each day, which is as much as humanly possible.

And for all you Cat Stevens fans, here’s a flash from the past – 1976:

Is Green Thumb a Recessive Gene?

La rencontre des éléments: L´eau et le feu - 2

Roses are red, and orange, and yellow and …

My grandmother’s garden in Spokane overflowed with looming bushes of fragrant lilacs and roses, beautiful pathways lined with lilies and violets, perfectly behaved arches of ivy over soft beds of moss clinging to native stone alongside gracefully curving pathways. All encircled a towering weeping willow that enchanted the back yard with lattices of shade and sunlight. Truly magical.

My mother has caused the desert to bloom along the Columbia River, bringing forth riots of day lilies, daffodils, gladioli, iris and chrysanthemums, an astounding variety of rose bushes that thrive under her care, berry brambles where none should dare grow, apples and apricots, peaches and plums, vegetables beyond compare, and arranges flowers with a professional flair and effortless ease.

I can slay a silk plant in two weeks without breaking a sweat.

Since I’m adept at growing simple things in butter containers, I’m going to start with simple things that it won’t be too noticeable if they’re not blooming like mad.

Eternal Optimists Make Ideal Gardeners

My sister can grow anything, even alpaca. Me? Not so much.

My sister can grow anything, even alpaca. Me? Not so much.

I’m now on the far side of 60, and have never had a successful garden.

That is not to say that I haven’t grown things! I’ve grown juniper plants, beds of ivy (accidentally), hedges of oleander (can’t be stopped), two rose bushes only forty-six years apart, a patch of spearmint, and acres of tumbleweed. Two Christmas trees, three rapid-growing poplars – two of which have survived for 18 years.

Oh, and zucchini. Let’s not forget zucchini, much as we might want to. And some various and sundry stuff planted in two raised furrows between the zucchini and the tomato plants.

They were cherry tomatoes, I was told, by the wonderful gentleman who gifted me with them and encouraged me to garden. Thank you, Earl! They would have produced lovely cherry tomatoes, but they were far too busy producing creepy worms.

Hello, Growing World

my fern

The Fern

prep, prep, dig, prep, wait.
… water
… watch
……. weed
… water
… watch
……. weed
prep, prep, compost, prep, prep, wait.
… water
… watch
… water
… watch
……. weed

Becoming aware of the cycles and durations, the circles and patterns is a part of becoming a gardener. Life mirrors gardening, as gardening mirrors life.

I told myself I wasn’t going to let this turn philosophical. Failed already, I fear.