Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Tom Robbins said when people tell you to shut up, they mean stop talking; and when they tell you to grow up, they mean stop growing. I want to be a growing person for my entire life. Working in my yard helps me embrace the constant state of change that a living garden embodies and that growth requires.

In my yard, I recently spent some time tending my compost piles. I emptied compost from one of the bottomless green trash cans into a similarly-sized wire basket (in the rear of this picture), layering the decaying compost with dead leaves and brush. Then I emptied the tumbler (in foreground) into the trash cans, layering older compost, dead leaves and fresher compost from the tumbler. Nothing is lost forever. That helps me to understand how to let go of past seasons.

When I finished my work with the compost, I planted some bulbs. To maintain my garden and to enjoy its rebirth each spring, I have to plant now. That helps me to understand how to invest in the garden’s future.

In the square blue pot, I planted one glory lily (Gloriosa Rothschildiana), two red and white spotted lilies (Tricyrtis Hirta) and three orange and black spotted tiger lilies (Triginum Splendens). I also added four Walla Walla onion sets left over from the vegetable garden. This is the closest I can get to sweet Vidalia onions. The black bamboo tripod is from my own black bamboo, and will be necessary to hold up the glory lily. It will be months before this investment pays off. That helps me learn patience.
The design concept, if I may be so presumptuous, is to have a pot brimming with odd flowers. Even the onions will produce fat round sprays of flowers in some shade of blue to purple, even though they probably won’t flower until the lilies are long gone. But one of the best parts of dreaming up fanciful arrangements is that I always am surprised at the difference between my dream and the eventual reality. That helps me learn to live with change and accept the unknown future.

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