Garden Flowers and Scents to Balm the Spirit
This week, the garden soothed worries, as it so often does, with the comfort and enjoyment of the squiggling tadpoles, the pipevine butterflies, and the blossoms of the flowering crabapples, flowering currants, ceanothus and pear trees.
Wandering through the garden, I’m often taken aback by lovely aromas. For example, as I was walking past the front door one evening, I was swept away by an exotic perfume … what is that?! You’d think I’d remember by now. But it’s a hidden flower–so tiny it’s hard to even find, and once found, hard to believe that such a wee bud could exude such a powerful fragrance. Even more amazing is that this humble little flower is secreted away amidst the ordinary leaves of a common evergreen shrub: pittosporum tenuifolium. Isn’t that a lovely reminder? Our being has the ability to exude a powerful resonance, no matter how small and ordinary we may feel.
I’m grateful for the garden’s invitation to come out of my anxious head and into just the simple experience of being. And that was a bit of a struggle this week because we are now looking at the very real possibility of drought here, and all that involves (like… wildfires). Probably like everyone else, my nervous system can’t handle more stress response right now. My inner voice is telling me to do what you have to, but meanwhile, enjoy the moments that you can.
By our measurements, we’ve only had about 11 3/4 inches of rain so far this year. Our seasonal pond, which normally fills every winter to some degree, never collected even an inch of standing water this winter (poor frogs!). A nearby town shows a few more inches rainfall than we recorded, but the area in general looks like its headed for a pretty stiff drought if we don’t get more precipitation by summer.
So, the usual spring inclination of planting a flurry of flowers and trying out new plants has been curtailed. My ponderings now are more about saving my hand-washing and dish-washing water in small buckets for watering plants and whether I can replicate a Zen Garden by raking a dirt patch into faux ripple designs and adding a field stone for a focal point. 🙂 I hope it doesn’t come to that.
Our goals at the moment are shoring up our irrigation system, to conserve water. Almost all plants including the vegetable beds, are on drip irrigation. The system we use can also be reduced by percentage during drought. So, you can keep your plants alive, but with less water than they prefer. I also just got a camping shower thingy, so we can shower outdoors and water a tree at the same time, if needed. Thank goodness for privacy hedges!
Elsewhere in the Garden
Though my indoor seedling starts are small in number compared to many gardeners, my little table is full to the brim with veg and herb seed pots, and some plants being propagated. I will have to write about this another time as it is too much to include here.
This year we are trying out grow bags for potatoes. We’ll see how it compares to growing in mounds on top of gopher wire (low success rate) and to growing in large nursery pots (better). We no longer grow them in the garden beds because they keep coming back in those, and we’re trying to avoid potato diseases building up in the soil.
Doing this blog makes me realize the inclination to only include the “pretty” parts of the garden, so I thought I’d include a messy section revealing paths and beds that desperately need weeding, with overgrown celery from last year, and general disarray. 🙂
I’ll end on a note of gratitude for the bumper crop of lemons we received this year. It made me happy to give a heap to a friend and more to put out at our gate for neighbors and passersby. There are still more on the trees!
I hope all of you are well and rejuvenated by whatever moments of joy that come your way–the sun on the face, a flower, a loved one, the dawn, silence, or just the wiggling of little tadpole tails. Stay safe! -lisa