Monthly Archives: January 2015

Garden Refuge

The bird bath with grass fronds waving.

The bird bath with grass fronds waving.

Is it my imagination or is there more bad news these days then ever? When I hear about all the Jihadist stuff going on, in Paris, Syria, everywhere, I feel like we’re back in Rome and the barbarians are invading and our world is about to cave in. We won’t really know it until the very end, so all we can do is live our lives and be constantly, vaguely afraid. Also, it’s hard to enjoy life since it seems disrespectful to everyone in the world who is suffering so much. I feel guilty a lot of the time, like there’s something more I should be doing; but when my mind considers the options, they seem either futile or overwhelming. Maybe the Romans were lucky they didn’t have the internet and couldn’t see what was really happening. But even with the internet, do we really know what’s  happening?  We certainly know more than they did and in a timelier fashion. Whether we can see the forest or only the trees is another question.

I see my job(s)as providing some relief from all the bad news. Playing music, which is my career, provides an escape from it, a comfort in times of chaos and sadness; and with this blog I’m trying to create a refuge. I know it’s not going to cure the ills of the world, but I do know that nature and beauty can help save individuals from their blackest thoughts. Diversion is one of the routes to happiness, however fleeting.

Gardening is many things, but the most important to me is the way it grounds me. When I’m out there in the garden I’m aware of the source of all things; the earth and its bounty, its generosity if you will. Despite what humans are doing to it, it gives back as much as it can at all times. Given whatever circumstances it finds itself in, some  plants will grow to some extent. When I’m tending my tiny patch of earth, I feel honoured to give it more optimal conditions than perhaps it sees elsewhere. I don’t put poison into the ground. I try to get a feel for what the garden needs, but I don’t tamper with the growing process too much, although I’ve usually considered that laziness, but one could look at it as just letting Mother Nature do its thing. I try to guide her in certain directions, by transplanting, pruning, and fertilizing with compost and manure. I add new plants here and there to try them out, see how they like the soil and light conditions, but if they don’t seem to like them, I let them go. I don’t amend the soil for acidity much, as it seems like a losing battle. A few favourite plants (clematis and azaleas come to mind) will inspire more effort on my part, but the rest seem to manage anyway. The ones who like the conditions will thrive no matter what I do. Sometimes too much! That’s the pleasure and wonder of gardening. No matter what you do, things tend to thrive. Perhaps not the way you’d intended, but they will. There will be beauty.

 

The Daylight is Growing

Roses and Asters

Roses and Asters

Yes, this is a gardening blog, and yes it’s January.  I told a friend at work about my blog today and how it was back on line after several months and he asked, “Have you done any gardening lately?”  I guess implying that perhaps the lack of a gardening blog through the winter is no great loss.  What he doesn’t realize is that we who love to get our hands dirty (which is not actually me, because I’m obsessive about using gloves, but you know what I mean) need to look forward to the time when the snow will be gone and we’ll be watching the tulips come up.  Now that it’s January and we’re officially past the shortest day of the year (almost a month past it, already!!), every day the light stays a little longer and it encourages us to start dreaming.

In fact, it’ll soon be time to start getting some seedlings going under grow lights (those who are lucky enough to have such things) and that means planning.  Planning is part of the fun of gardening, especially in the winter when we can’t do much else. Planning means combing the gardening sites for unusual new plants,  dreaming about where we should dig a new bed and what to put in; wondering whether this will be the year of the pond; will a new stone path or a trellis get built? Will we grow vegetables? All of that stuff.  Today the world is our oyster, we have all the far off spring, summer and fall to do whatever it is we’re dreaming about now.  There are no limits to what we might accomplish this year.

To help with your dreaming here’s a link to an extensive gardening site called Dave’s Garden.  The link will take you to a page with an article on winter pruning. (This is for you, Elizabeth!)  I’m not sure how many people around here would actually get out and prune in winter (I’d be curious to know), but there are people out west of the Rockies who probably could. Dave’s Garden site is very extensive, almost like a Ravelry site for gardeners.  (Oh, you don’t know Ravelry?  Not a knitter, huh?  OH, well…) Dave’s Garden’s e-newsletter arrives in my inbox every Monday and I often think I’ll just take a glance and I end up reading the whole thing.

Happy Dreams, Fellow Gardeners!

 

I’m back!!

Winter Garden

Winter Garden

Well, after several months of procrastination I finally decided to spend the needed hours to figure out how to restore my website.  I’m extremely excited that it worked!  I still don’t know why the site went down (the database was “corrupted” according to the helpful man from Bluehost), but the miraculous thing is that I had a backup and I was able to restore it, after wading through all the information I was given, most of which was in Greek.

Since I spent the last couple of hours working on the restoration process, I don’t have enough brain cells to write a proper post.  I will simply send you to this lovely little piece my sister, Nora, sent me called “The Gardener’s Credo”.  It was a breath of fresh air to me on this cold, snowy, January day. I hope you enjoy it and look for a new post here soon!

http://ottawacitizen.com/life/homes/gardening/a-gardeners-credo-for-2015