Hands-free gardening

Time is flying! Weeks pass in a blur and the Charles Bukowski line “the days run away like wild horses…” is CONSTANTLY running on a loop in my head. My days are filled in collaborative and creative effort – something I’ve longed for – but alas, the work is indoors and mostly via computer and phone (with occasional airline travel for good measure)

I’m not trying to be coy.  I realize I’ve said little here about my new professional hat. Providing more details about that adventure is on my to-do list… right next to grocery shopping, planting the vegetable garden and just about everything having to do with housekeeping!  Yep, things are pretty hectic these days.  Exciting, satisfying, and productive but yes, very, very hectic.

I have little problem kicking groceries and housekeeping to the curb, but I miss my garden.  The ‘Alchymist’ rose outside our kitchen window is wearing a fuzzy fur coat of bright green aphids. (ewwww!) The sight taunts me every time I stand at the sink waiting for the coffee to brew – the only domestic appliance getting a workout these days.  Weeds are colonizing the gravel pathways and last year’s kale is a giant bouquet of yellow flowers so brilliant you can probably see it from space.  All the more reason to appreciate and focus on those plants that are quietly and steadily doing their good work completely independent of my input.

Erysimum 'Constant Cheer'

Erysimum 'Constant Cheer'

Erysimum ‘Constant Cheer’ is more than living up to its name.  This little subshrub has been blooming it’s heart out for more than a month already; ha, and they call it a wallflower!!! Picking fistfuls of flowering stems for a desktop bouquet is about the sum of my (outdoor) horticultural endeavors these days. I confess, generally I have issues with plants that bloom, and bloom, (and bloom) without ceasing — I get bored.  And nobody likes a showoff, botanical or otherwise.  But ‘Constant’s’ charm lies in its every-changing palette of water-colored blooms.  Even after picking, the flowers continue to morph from citrusy yellow to peach to berry — a veritable bowl of horticultural rainbow sherbet.  [I must be hungry… even the busiest day can’t distract me from my next meal~]

I got a very sweet email from Poppy, my father-in-law, this morning with the following quote:

“A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy,”
Luis Barragan.

Admittedly there’s very little serenity in my life just now, but joy, poetry and most definitely the mysterious are all playing starring roles.  So I guess I’m gardening after all.  But in a new way that’s less digging and plotting, more receiving and observation.

Yet another line from a gifted poet is pinned to the bulletin board by my desk:

“…my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished” — Mary Oliver

I had NO IDEA aphids could build up in such astonishing numbers if left unchecked!


3 Responses to “Hands-free gardening”

  1. debra April 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    you are amazing! poetry – both visual and in words!
    enjoy the sunshine this weekend – PROMISE!

  2. Loree/danger garden April 22, 2012 at 12:39 am #

    And you know the garden will be there when you can get to it, heck you might even find parts are better after the time spent away.

  3. Michael (Bukowski Quotes) May 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    I like flowers that bloom and bloom and bloom, I’m surprised to hear you don’t. But I find your reasoning for it interesting.