Friday, April 29, 2011

growing things

I feel I have neglected my commenters. So many good messages come this way on Ocean! Yes, I’ll get back to a conversational mode! Yes, as soon as the semester’s work lightens up and the work at the farmhouse is near an end.

I know. Decades hence. Or, maybe not so far from now?

This morning, you could say I reinvented my outside working habits. Some thirty years ago, before the trend hit hard here, I discovered perennial gardens. I was spending quite a number of weeks in England and Scotland and if you’re there, outside the urban areas, you can’t help but notice that the British know their flower beds.

Yes, it’s all about British habits today, what with the wedding and all... you didn’t watch the wedding? I did, here and there, remembering that thirty years ago I kept tabs on the other British wedding, wondering which would come first, the “I do” or my about to be born baby. (“I do” won, by a mile.)

Some time around the birth of child number two, I began work on my own perennial flower beds. We’d just bought a house, there was a yard, there was the will to make it less about yews and lawn and more about combinations of flowers. But here’s the rub: I never quite had the time for dedicated gardening. And truthfully, had I the time, I’m not sure I would have given it all over to yard work. There was so much yard maintenance that I thought of as necessary drudgery. (Lawn care, tree pruning, weed control, to name but a few.) The good stuff – planting flowers – that was a mere thumbnail in the tally of outdoor chores.

Things are different now, here at the farmette. For one thing,  I’m not in charge. These are not my three acres of land, not my trees that are in need of pruning, not my quack grass, nor creeping Charlie. And so I can choose and work long hours outside, but I don't have to do it all. And, Ed is equally lackadaisical, even though it is his farmette, and he does care about quack grass and creeping Charlie. Just not enough to make it rule the waking hours of every day.

The light is so gorgeous this morning, so utterly perfect, that all indoor tasks are put aside. Yes, I still have school work to attend to, but it can wait a day or so. Today is the long awaited day of outdoor work – however we want to define it.

And it evolves. Initially, I start by clearing the porch of construction debris. I branch out to then remove spent flowers from last year. Ed suggests moving the crocuses out of the driveway and before you know it, we’re creating a new flower bed, just by the big lily field by the porch.


Yes, we do other more mundane chores as well, but unquestionably, the gardening elements dominate the brilliant hours of daylight.

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I continue to have no plan, no agenda for the land that surrounds the farmhouse, But I come to this place with a love of soil and plant life that I probably inherited from my grandfather. And so of course, I do want to make a garden grow (note yesterday's post). Some garden. Not any well-crafted garden, but a garden nonetheless. With perennials and a few annuals, for the lazy spells when nothing else seems to be thriving.

In the late afternoon we drive to the Flower Factory just a few miles south of here. I pick up a handful of perennials for the brand new raised bed created by Ed earlier in the day. Another  spring, another growing season. A fresh start, a measured, older wiser start.

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