Monday, May 31, 2010


It was a quiet day here, today---no fireworks, no company, no cookouts. We started the day with our coffee outside, and then a three-of-us in planting mode---getting the great pot-corral between the outbuildings all cleaned up, with most plastic ones sent to recycle, and all the terra-cottas either put to use or stacked neatly. The little worn picket fence “concealing” them was moved back into the cleared space, with a neat iron lawn-chair, the long-ago yellow paint on its slender frame a mere whisper of itself, with a graceful white pot of pink impatiens dropped into the space where the seat would be.

Caro spent her morning setting sets-of-three pots of red, white, and “blue” impatiens into other pots set around the benches, the grapevine trellis, and atop the aging white pedestal by the bistro set. The blue is more a purple hue, but there seems to be no real “navy” in the flower world. And pastel blue gives the effect of a Cake-Wrecks flag cake, made by an inexperienced or unheeding baker and left to languish on the mark-down table the Fifth of July.

So we got our hands into the dirt, planting and grubbing, getting all the maple spinners out from between the heavy-leafed hostas, re-arranging the stones in the flowerbeds, pulling up hundreds of hopeful little maples, sweeping out sticks and debris, and filling a lawn-sack for this week’s Big Garbage Day.

We got out the round patio table and a couple of old wicker pieces too long in the damp dark back of the potting shed. The pale green piece went onto the porch, and the old rattan guy, wide of arm and sturdy of ravelly back, went out beside the back fence to garnish the hosta bed.

We found wrought-iron sconces and window-boxes and several other things several years in the losing, and HAVE TO STOP SOMEWHERE.

Caro brought a nifty cantaloupe-sized gazing ball made into a hanging lantern, its solar bulb glowing in the twilight, and one of the regular variety, in swirls of iridescent cobalt and copper. The old fishing float on the tree is still hanging on, the graying rope and the haze of the glass a testament to several year-round tours of sentinel duty on the Big Tree.

And last Sunday’s seed scatter has taken root and risen in beegrillions on the big round sandy plot of the back garden---I know a lot of them will have to be ruthlessly thinned, and there are enough wee maples in there amongst the flowers to make a good sized forest in a few years.

The tallest sunflowers---the nine-foot variety---are just tiny babies now, standing a couple of inches tall; they have a neat dicot atop like a propeller beanie, and just days ago, I walked out to see their first glimpse of sunlight. They were standing there just out of the ground, their tiny necks like white threads topped with the split seed---they had the appearance of peeking out from Hobbit-helms like Merry and Pippin, with the halves down over their ears on either side.
We were outside when it started to rain, big pelting drops shaking the leaves and drenching our clothes. We just stood for a moment, all of us out there in the beginning of the downpour, soaking in the moment as the soil began to soak up the moisture. We came in for a long time, cooked and ate our supper together, cleared the table.
Then we slipped on our mud-trusty clogs and went out again, just to see how everything looked, and it was lovely---dripping and very green, with the plants standing taller, leaves fuller and more rounded, and the darkening of the big garden bed showing up the greens like jewels on velvet.

It's not yet a sea of green, but a haze of it is forming from all the tee-ninecy leaves seeking the light. It’s a satisfying thing, making a garden. A holy thing and a good, and it was a day well spent, this day of remembering those gone too soon. The cycle of seed and season confirms our place in this chain, and commemorates theirs.


Caro said...

I was just online..... Not always a bad thing, and I got us one more thing... ( and the newest Sookie book, for $8.95 HARD COVER!) and now I'll stop.

Love! :-)

racheld said...

You sneaky bird!! Nothing like a vampire tale to get your green thumb glowing.

Pink Roses and Teacups said...

Hi Racheld,

Nice to meet you! thank you for the sweet comments on my blog. I enjoyed visiting yours too, and I will be back again.


Southern Lady said...

What a lovely day you had, Rachel. I hope you will share pictures of your garden and all its little "rooms" with us. I know it's as beautiful and as charming as it sounds in your story.

Jeanne said...

Good morning Rachel, I love your gardening post. all of your words painted a very clear picture of all your hard work. Now, take some pics. Smile. You know me, lots of pics, few words.

Thank you for your sweet comment for Bryce. We do have a cake ordered for him today. We pick it up at noon. I will rush to my daughter's home and post the real cake. BIG smile.

Happy day to you and happy gardening.
Love ya, Jeanne

Keetha said...

Sounds like a lovely day!

We got home last night to find the morning glory seeds The Child had planted had grown six inches (literally!) while we were gone!

Let me know when you head to Charleston. I'd love for us to chat about it.

racheld said...

Thank you all for commenting---I'm always SO happy to hear from you all. It's a bit cloudy still today, and very damp, but with none of the MUGGY one expects from the day-after-a-rainstorm in June.

I'll make some drippy pictures this afternoon, when the sun promises to peek out. Little One and I toured all the acreage this a.m. and the number---bee-jillions as I said---of little leaf-sets peeking out of the ground of the garden, well it's unimaginable.

And the Gladiola bulbs, planted eight days ago, have six-inch spears standing tall and proud.

To Gatto999, our newest member, far away in Italy:

Grazie ed il Benvenuto!

E nessuno con Emmett Brown per un amico รจ soprattutto benvenuto!

Kouign Aman said...

"there seems to be no real “navy” in the flower world. And pastel blue" - the flower size doesnt balance impatiens perfectly, but perhaps next year try lobelia for the blue?
Its seeded itself all over our brick patio, which gave us our brick red, cement white and lobelia blue patriotic colors for the weekend.

Your garden always seems such a fairy haven.

Tonja said...

I have always found the digging in dirt, planting seeds, and seeing them peek their shoots out of the soil, as a very spiritual thing. It is, I think, an attempt to create our own little world. We can put the trees where we like, and the flowers where we like, and the vines where we like. And, in the end, it is green and colorful and fun to be in. We, of course, remember to give thanks to The Creator for all the things he supplied us with. And, surely, He is thanking us for lightening His load just a bit!

Chesapeake said...

Rachel, I found a red, white, blue combination, but can't remember what plant it is right now--I'm not at home, but will be back tomorrow, and will try to remember to look and tell you what plant it is. I seem to remember that it is a type of phlox.

L Vanel said...

A terrible thing, this thinning business. I sometimes feel like I don't have the heart to do it. Very nice day of gardening. You had me captivated with the downpour and every single word resonated perfectly thereafter. L