Monday, May 17, 2010

In full Swing

Things are happening! These things happened about a week ago, but its a very good feeling when you know the reason you haven't updated your blog is because you've been too busy doing the things that you blog about!
First off, Chris dug us a nice big hole (not an easy thing at our house, where the ledge rock starts about one foot beneath the top soil) for us to plant the Forsythia. Naturally, there were complications:

Eventually, we fished little Thomas out, and the final product looks wonderful.               

We've been given some lovely lilac trees from the family, and we hope soon to plant them a little to the left of this bush. Meanwhile, the raspberries are on the go, though they suffered a little from the weird frost (damage not visible in this picture). We've discovered the dogs are ripping our asparagus out by the roots, so Ruth and I are going to build a fence around them and the raspberries tomorrow.

Well that's all for now. Tomorrow promises to be a very big day! Here's what we have to work with:

We've got to take everything out except the Clematis, the Baptisia and the Rose. There's a lot in there, and NONE of it is labelled. Okay, so the Daffodils are obviously Daffodils, but other than that, it's up to our gardener's knowhow and intuition.  

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Goal is Set

Three of them, actually!

1) Weather providing, to do some work in the garden every day.

2) To have a new page typed every week.

3) To test a new recipe every week. Here are few that I'm very excited about:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Brilliant Idea!

That's what we need, a brilliant idea.
-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

I've finally come up with some solid parameters for this blog. When this total redesigning of our garden is complete, we will have a place to write in the middle of the new layout. Also, I find that I come up with my best writing ideas whilst I am gardening. It's a two lane street. As I expand my view of the world through my writing, I create a stronger image of what I would like my physical space on the Earth to appeal to my senses; in other words, what I would like my garden to look, smell, feel, and yes, sound and taste like. Thus, I intend to center my future posts here around writing and gardening, and the concrete connections between these two elements in my life.

The Japanese bridge in Monet's garden that inspired so many of his paintings.
There will be posts that consist of writing I have done alongside those about the garden overhaul, as well as post regarding things that both the garden and the pen produce, and also about techniques in both fields. On that note, I leave you with a semi-sister poem to the one I last posted, though this one was first drafted several months before the other:

Sleepy Impressions at a Lecture on Polish History

To go, wet feathered, 
eating caterpillars and sprouting feet and toes—
through the mud and chomping 
at grasses, at birds that fly by— with knives, 
with corsets and rocks in slings— tipping over, 
down and down and down 
and eating nothing for forevers— 
smelling books on the wind and 
suspecting inroads on comfort— 
blasting away, kicking down doors, 
smashing flowers and making 
hats, bonnets, picnic dresses— 
to shipwrecks and rescues on churning 
Romantic waves, and sharks slashed to 
the gills— floating up into colonnades— 
disturbing slumbering armies— jumping 
from indoor clouds— eating cotton, sliding 
through shaving cream— 
melting into caramels, twisting down 
causeways, down garden steps, 
through flocks— with worms, with 
fingers and dimes— coughing up dimes, 
jumping down rainspouts, 
pulling knits, carding wool, flying kites— 
to rest in sponge cake licking peppermint lips— 
in swivel chairs, in declarations, in 
inkwells— on quiet violins, dusty chalk boards— 
to go on, ignoring bells, bounding fences, 
playing Jew-harps— riding grasshoppers through 
wheat fields to market— picking 
apples for bombardments yet to come— 
pickling in teacups, sifting 
through gold pans— in white linen, in 
taffeta and tulle, in leather bags 
with pony express buckles— on pointed heels 
downriver on a bar of soap— 
in curly wedding cake wigs, on tiny ankles— 
on sword belts, on piano keys with razors 
and monocles— with geese and herons going 
south to balmy seas by night—
to go, loudmouthed and kicking, to bed.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thoughts on Katyn

A poem I wrote upon hearing of the death of the Polish leaders last week:

Katyn                     April 15, 2010

A husk of a fuselage sits
in the flattened circle of burnt tree
trunks. Our Solidarity is that our
history moves in perfect centennial
circles. A phone rings in Russia. A
phone rings in the forest. While
you were sitting here preparing your
souls to remember that loud
invisible moment in these woods,
it happened again. Things fall
out of hands. Some sit down
very slowly. A man standing to t he right
of the podium out of respect
for the one who will not speak
today reddens and tears saturate
his mustache. Become
a grain barge drifting down the
Vistula to Gdańsk‎ in another
century. A horse drawn plow turns
up a rusted Teutonic sword, too
heavy to lift with one hand. Our
ancestors were made of stronger stuff.
Our word for Strike was God. Think of
Anna Walentynowicz, and a picture
of Our Lady of Czestochowa in
a plastic folder hanging on the
gates of the docks. And only five
years ago—the Pope. September,
October, Oswiecim, Siberia. How
can we bear to consider the loss
of the sites your eyes beheld
when your death by fire tells us,
tells us with a bell of judgment
that we must see such thing
ourselves? We are headless in the
highway of all armies, and there is no
one to blame but God,
who is on our side,
and always kills the mourners.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Second Go Around...

Well, gardening season is starting back up again. We've managed to pick our snow plower's generous helpings of gravel out of the lawn before the grass really takes off, thanks to two small press-ganged cousins of mine. Our next pre-big spring growth spurt tasks will include digging a big ol' hole for the forsythia, moving all our blueberriy bushes (such as they are) down the hill, and relocating the last of those ratty old lilies before we have to re-till their intended bed.

Then, the big job begins: We are going to take everything out of the garden, reorganize the beds, and start all over again. I had hoped we would have finished all this last year, but it was not to be. Lack of labor and lack of time really ate things up, but this summer I'll have my boyfriend Chris back home to help with the heavy stuff, my squad of gardening cousins, young and old, and my mother Jane is going to pay me for my own efforts so that I can consider this my job, and thus have more time to devout to it!
Here's Thomas, one of my little helpers, rooting around with our dear Sheltie Baxter in was is currently the far bed. Everything in this bed is tilled and has been living under black plastic for almost a year. Between him and the car are the last of the wayward lilies, and that jungle of spearmint will have to go too. It's so invasive, we probably won't put it back in the garden; I'll probably transplant it into the one of thew fields where it can do it's thing uninterrupted. I'd hate to lose it altogether, because the stuff is wonderful. I've been steeping it in my tea and I love it!
Yep, everything must go. Part of this initiative came out of the fact that we can't get our lawnmower down the original paths that Jane designed. We were going to leave the large bush on the right, but I kid you not the damned thing was blown clear out of the ground last autumn and we found it in the road way down the hill. Looks like we're gonna need something else to hide our view of the neighbor's cars.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Beginning

Summer is gone, but progress was made. The garden is more understanding of our needs than ever; the asparagus bed is tidy; the raspberry patch gave up a bountiful crop. The lilies have all moved to their final home, the bindweed (or as I like to call it, Satan's weed) has been driven back from or garden, and the rose and lilac are thriving in the newfound sunlight. All in all, summer has been good.

Today was a hearth day. Spearmint clippings were hung in the dinning room; the seeds of remaining stalks were spread over the unused field where they may find the freedom our small garden cannot allow. The dried mullein leaves were ground and jarred. This will be a great help when those body-wracking winter coughs set in.