November garden musings… switching gears from the outdoors to inside.

There’s a chill in the air, fresh snow on the ground, and I’m craving a seat next to the fireplace, along with a big mug of hot chocolate. Yum!

Technically it’s still autumn, but winter doesn’t care. Happy to disregard the calendar, it has staked a claim on my garden already, and as you can see, the lavender plants are snug as bugs in rugs, tucked happily in the snow.

Left with no choice but to let it go gently into that good night, (with apologies to Dylan Thomas), I’ll switch gears now and focus on the indoor plants.

My tropicals, & succulents especially, must absolutely shudder at the thought the over-attention they’ll now receive all winter long, which is a drastic change from the absolute neglect I offer them spring through fall.

I’m pretty good about not over-watering, so this attention, (a smidge of OCD), mainly includes following the sunshine by moving most of the plants closer to any window that has southern exposure for the day, trimming leaves, repotting, and the like.

I cram many of them on our dining room table and kitchen counter so they can catch some rays on brighter days, which my family thankfully ignores because they’re used to it by now.

Except for our cat, who sometimes seems quite annoyed at the lack of space she has to stretch out. As cats will do, she pays it forward by chewing, and flicking some of the foliage with her long sharp claws that may invade her territory.

And, look out in February when seed starting season is upon us. Available space at those southern windows shrinks drastically when trays containing my future vegetable garden start sprouting in small, hand-made newspaper pots.

However, it’s still November. Time to end this post, practice some serious Hygge, make that hot chocolate, (with mini-marshmallows), grab a good book, get cozy by the fire, and settle in for the season.

Have a good week! Thanks for stopping by. ūüôā

The Spirit Garden – An examination of life through flowers and plants

When one¬†tends¬†a garden, one tends to contemplate life. It’s very simple. Sometimes this examination is purely on a physical level; i.e. the¬†plants right in front of¬†our face.¬†Other times¬†it’s a more of a¬†philosophical nature, one¬†that reaches beyond the border of our property,¬†nurturing our senses towards¬†self introspection, leading to the creation of¬†a¬†spiritual garden.

If nothing else, gardening has taught me much. Not just about myself, but many life lessons have been transferred from plants to this person.

When  one views the world as a garden, one is more apt to engage nature with all the senses, as well as the mind and heart. Simply by observing and engaging in what nature has to offer, people have the ability to grow, not unlike a garden.

  • Equate weeds to negativity and flowers to the good things in your life. Take some time and¬†pull the weeds¬†out or they’ll spread, choking out all the¬†flowers you wish to flourish.
  • Equate flowers¬†to human beings. A diverse¬†garden with many types of plants is worth celebrating and exploring.¬†Can anyone, gardener or not,¬†imagine¬†a plot consisting of only one type of flower? How utterly boring.
  • Equate your garden to where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. A garden never stays the same and like life,¬†change is inevitable.
  • Some plants wither and die. Chuck ’em in the compost and move on. Sometimes nothing will keep them alive. That goes for some relationships, too. People are really like flowers and¬†will add¬†joy and happiness¬†to¬†your garden, and not take it away.
  • ¬†Corporate gardens are¬†easy to spot.¬†Usually¬†heavily¬†manicured, clipped,¬†and planted overnight with annuals for instant gratification,¬†they reside¬†in front of many a sterile building, appearing like¬†oppressive¬†backdrops touting perfection, which is not possible in reality. They lack¬†creativity¬†and offer little or no¬†benefit to local wildlife or sustenance for¬†pollinators.¬†What does bloom is¬†dead-headed, discarded, and never¬†allowed¬†to¬†set seeds for next year. They¬†devolve in¬†to a¬†barren environment for most of the year, and¬†tall poppies need not apply.
  • Cutting back taller flowers will not make the smaller¬†ones look¬†better.
  • Stay connected to your roots. Many a plant in my garden can be traced to a memory, a friend, a family member who may no longer alive, or a¬†beloved place¬†I can no longer visit. Nurturing those plants keeps those memories alive!
  • Every plant has its season. Enjoy them as they bloom. Live in the moment, as does¬†each plant. Know that when it has finished blooming for the time being, it will be back next year to enjoy all over again.
  • Spending time in nature is healing. Don’t just work in¬†the garden. Take the time to sit and enjoy the effort you’ve put in to it.
  • A garden won’t grow without water. Sometimes in life it rains, but¬†this is good for the garden, and the sun will shine again.
  • Some people will not like your garden. That’s okay! Each garden offers the personality of the gardener. If they were all the same, the world would be a very boring place indeed.
  • The power of contemplation originates in abandonment of self. For example, if I’m feeling down or dwelling on something, I go to the garden. My thoughts stop¬†inserting themselves and my focus is on¬†what’s in front of me instead of what was troubling me. Gardening really is like burying your troubles in the dirt!
  • Gardening is a living canvas. As an artist who could not paint for several years, I found another way to be creative by designing my garden, and others, which offered an alternative outlet to explore all kinds of ideas, colours, textures, all the while offering inspiration to get back to painting when the time was right!

Shall add to this as I go along!

Would love to hear your garden thoughts.

Thanks for visiting!

 

In appreciation of spring – poets and portals

The beginning of¬†T.S. Eliot‚Äôs poem, ‚ÄúThe Waste Land,‚Ä̬†opens with¬†‚ÄúApril is the cruellest month‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

Truly, I¬†couldn’t agree more with this assessment.

Here in Ontario, we’ve sampled just about the worst¬†role of¬†every season during¬†this one month alone.¬†April’s¬†weather forecasts were not on their best behaviour, offering¬†only a few days¬†taste of¬†the tantalizing weather yet¬†to come.

In my neck of the woods, the temps dropped overnight and it actually snowed. Thankfully a light dusting was all we received and most has now dissipated.

In any case, most¬†poems about spring¬†are uplifting,¬†¬†giving us hope for rejuvenation and¬†renewal¬†in our own lives and our gardens. These written words are like¬†doors¬†opening to¬†better times ahead… an optimistic t√™te-√†-t√™te,¬†or¬†a literary sightseeing adventure,¬†taking us from¬†death towards the newness and rebirth¬†of spring.

These portals are waiting to be cracked opened by the reader. It seems that doors and books have much in common! One may encounter something entirely more pleasant on the other side if the door handle is turned or the cover flipped.

With that in mind, I stumbled upon (a snippet of) a poem like that only this morning while perusing Pinterest.

Intrigued, I tracked down the rest, enjoying the lovely imagery offered, that in my mind sum up the best parts of spring!


‚ÄúApril Weather‚ÄĚ by Lizette Woodworth Reese¬†

From – A Handful of Lavender (1891)

Oh, hush, my heart, and take thine ease,

For here is April weather!

The daffodils beneath the trees

Are all a-row together.

 

The thrush is back with his old note;

The scarlet tulip is blowing;

And white ‚Äď ay, white as my love‚Äôs throat ‚Äď

The dogwood boughs are growing.

 

The lilac bush is sweet again;

Down every wind that passes,

Fly flakes from hedgerow and from lane;

The bees are in the grasses.

 

A Grief goes out, and Joy comes in,

And Care us but a feather;

And every lad his love can win,

For here is April weather.


Links with further reading and information about the author: