Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder…
Wait till you see how I’m beholding this.
5/31/06 My garden is a tad uninspired right now, I’ll be the first to admit it. In fact, there would be waist-high grass if not for me walking around my garden over and over again to build up strength. This corner under the pine was so not beautiful that I hardly looked at it. But, now that I’ve been walking here I know it has the coolest temperature. So…
In March, after I received a Dharma catalog, I began thinking about a calming statue set among ferns under the ponderosa. Ferns might grow, despite this being high DESERT, because of how cool it is.
I decided to raise the back corner so that the ferns would be higher, as if they were on a little hill and so that I could have other plants beneath them. I collected the red cinder block edging (that I hated) and arranged it to protect the fence bottom a bit; then I put stones on top of the edging. You can just see the stones. I filled the area with Russian vine clippings, leaves and dried grass that had overgrown my yard last year when I had a tetanus relapse and I couldn’t do anything outside.
As I dug beds in other areas for the plants I wanted to order, I used some of the dirt to cover the leaves and grass. I’m thinking the leaves and grass will compost into a moisture holding material. (I would have rescued some fishing night crawlers from Wal*Mart, because they do such a dynamite job of eating up leaves, but I was afraid I might crush them if I was still working on the area and stepping on it.)
The dark area at the base of the Ponderosa is where I dug out a Russian olive. I filled the hole with the original clay soil, to which I added steer manure, and peat moss. That’s where I’m going to plant the wintergreen I ordered.
I want wintergreen because as a child I went “Up North” to my maternal grandparents’ cottage on Little Lake St. Germaine where I loved seeing the bright, little plant in the woods. When Grandpa told me it was Wintergreen, he made it sound special. He knew so much about plants, I credit him with my A in botany.
Beyond the shovel in the picture at top you can see a small area edged with rocks where I’ll be planting pink lilies of the valley.
There was a bed of lilies-of-the-valley on the north side of grandma and grandpa’s home in Stevens Point. It was all shade on that side, the narrowest part of the yard edging right up to the neighbors’ driveway, so it was only once in a great while that we played there, always noticing the little bugs with lots of legs and shells that had bend places in them. (Now, armadillo bugs are the bane of my New Mexico garden.)
Sometime later ~~ I decided to move the compost makings I was using to raise the level of the shady corner garden, dig a hole where they’d been, put them into it in layers with dirt, and build up the area above with dirt, steer manure and peat moss.
But I could only do three spadefuls before my muscles tighten, so this took a bit long, but was worth while. (I was surprised to see that the leaves in the debris pile had already composted. The vines and twigs were not so quick.
10/3/2016 ~ I had no idea how much organic material I’d need to add to the clay soil in order to make the clay hospitable to wintergreen and lily of the valley. Just saying.
6/6/06 Bare root plants arrive
They are quite different than I expected. About a dozen plants arrived in one small box. I had been so worried I wouldn’t be able to carry the plants in, imagining that they would be heavy. But this small box was light, filled with packing popcorn, and once opened didn’t seem to contain any plants. I had to burrow through the packing material to find them. Some were in long, egg roll looking packing. Inside, once the saran wrap was takenoff, there were very naked little plants, indeed. But with hopeful sprouting bits.
I took the plants to their new homes ~~ there’s a light rain, which I bet they’re loving.
I made a mistake with the bed for the lilies-of-the-valley, though: I didn’t add much decayed manure. The instructions say it likes decayed manure. I was thinking grandpa never put manure over his bed, so I only faintly added any. Wouldn’t you know it, there’s so much I can’t remember, then the thing I remember is wrong for the occasion.
Equally, I may have too much manure in the Creeping Wintergreen bed. The soil looks a lot blacker than the soil in the other beds. My plan is to watch the plant, which will be really easy because it is so cute — it has one red berry. (It wasn’t “bare root.”) If it starts to yellow or look distressed in any way, I can take it up and amend the soil. At least, that’s my plan.
6/10/06 I guess because of my brain damage
I was a little unclear on which plants would arrive as plants, and which as seeds. Because I’ve always bought my creeping thyme as little plants, I was expecting what I was familiar with. But seeds arrived. Inside the packet was a small wax paper packet with a trace of something in it…. apparently that trace was a hundred seeds.
I planted a quarter of the small as dust seeds in a small container. Nothing happened. So, I ordered a greenhouse-like seed starter that arrived yesterday. I planted something in each of the cells, and today the two rows of Statice are sprouting. I’m going to take a picture because if you have kids, this is really instantaneous results and I bet they’d love it. Okay, upon reviewing the picture the sprouts aren’t huge, but you can see the tiny Statice sprouts.
7/15/06 Happy with my garden. : )
Here’s how my “cool corner” is looking these days. It’s the rainy season, so grass is sprouting everywhere.
The dainty plant on the right is a mulberry. It’s been there since I bought the house. As has a little hydrangea I found straggling under the edge of the deck. These plants appear to have hung on with no care or appreciation.
As a kid my favorite song was, “Here we go round the mulberry bush, mulberry bush, so early in the morning.” That’s the song that continues, “A penny for a spool of thread, a penny for a needle — That’s the way the money goes, pop goes the weasel.” I didn’t know that the song wasn’t about a little animal, a weasel, that it was about having to pawn the shoe making tool called a “weasel.”
I wonder if it would be wise to not let kids get attached to songs about poverty ~
Meaning: I wonder if I had liked a song about wealth if I would have had a wealthy life. The thing is, I’ve had a rich life: When I lived in London I was able to walk from my home in the derelict building (or equally from my home on the preserved historic street next to Regent’s Canal a few years earlier) past The Eagle. In the song, part of the lyrics go, “in and out The Eagle.” It was the exact pub from the song, I was told.
I loved England because of how beautiful it is in the way you can see the work of people over centuries and centuries. So, it was a part of my rich life to live in England, and if a song about poverty is what made it happen, sort of like an answer to a prayer, then I am delighted.
7/16/06 I sit in my cool corner and give my burdens to the Angel of Divine Love
I attached a necklace my cousin sent me some years ago to my fence, to give me something to remind me ofthe Angel of Divine Love. It’s been working quite well.
I have felt scared so much for the last several years, for several reasons to include the foreclosures and court things, as well as the tetanus which was terrifying when the muscle seizures happened because they were so extremely painful. They made me understand how torture could make anyone say anything to stop the pain. My point, however, is that by giving my burdens to the Angel of Divine Love, I have regained some peace. (I hope the primroses come back. I was sad they disappeared. Primroses are said to spring up where there is love. I used to feel love for the earth and people and America and so many many things. But the pain has taken over, and that’s not good. I want to get back to feeling love, not pain.)
7/20/06 ~ I took the above picture this morning shortly after dawn. The thing is, this is how my cool, shady corner is in my mind.
When I’m stressed by something, like the court things, and I think about my cool corner, this is how it beckons to me in my mind.
During the day, the sun outside my shady corner is hot and parching, the shade under the ponderosa pine is not nearly so deep, and the morning glories have retired, but the haven quality remains.
3/25/2007 ~ Cut and torn away
The bough that supported the wall of vines and flowers above my shady corner is gone. My garden is so much louder without it. There is a major road not far away, and without the vines and tree boughs the noise bombards into my garden.
It made me ache to see the man saw into the bough, then break it with a great tearing gash. He said it was keeping the sun out of his garden. I said I’d planted a shade garden. When I looked over the fence, his garden is mainly cement, gravel and architectural urns.
When he kept saying how the tree was on his property, while he was leaning far over the fence to cut it, he reminded me so much of President Bush and Vice President Cheney saying there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, when there were not.
I asked him if he was a Republican, and he said it was none of my business.
I felt as if he was, as if he didn’t care that he’d raised the temperature in this area of our neighborhood. I felt that he didn’t believe in global warming, that if it was something that didn’t profit him, he didn’t care about it.
I asked him if he had stock in Halliburton. He had begun to look to me as if he would enjoy profiting from the war in Iraq, from destruction and lies.
I was glad the tree badly cracked one of his urns when it fell.
3/30/07 ~~ Joy! (In the end) ~~ I was just thinking that it’s hard to continue believing in God when so many bad things happen. Judge Pfeffer just dismissed my appeal without granting me the extensions I requested by motion as an accommodation of my disability. It is discrimination for him to do that. But I’m so tired and I’ve been so sick since the lawyer asked for a hearing without letting me respond, that I began to wonder what had made me believe there could be a basic Goodness in the universe. God.
I went outside, because I was thinking that maybe if I could break away from the power I’ve given to the state district court, I wouldn’t be feeling so bad. I was supposed to have surgery on my jaw for an infection around my old dental implants, but I postponed it because of the court case and believing the court would not give me a continuance. But then the woman who was supposed to give me a ride to the later appointment went out of town on family matters and I had to postpone again. And I’ve been so sick, and stressed by the court things and being denied the due process that is supposed to be my right.
Okay, so I went outside, it’s a cold grey day, and just sat in my chair on my deck, soaking in the day. Being outside was lifting my spirits, and I wondered if the Christmas roses would have bloomed a whole three months the way it said they would, if I had deadheaded them. I went to my shady corner to take a look at whether or not they were doing seeds.
When I was finished looking at them, and their very noteworthy seeds, I wondered whether the man who cut down the tree boughs had found the note I’d thrown over the fence, that had landed near his cement porch. I looked over the fence and saw that it wasn’t there any more.
I decided to sit in my shady corner for a bit, and was focusing on how my Jack Frost is getting ready to flower, when I saw two stones I hadn’t noticed before. I went to take a look, and they were mushrooms.