Monday, April 07, 2008

Paradise Regained

"What fear I then? Rather, what know to fear
Under this ignorance of good and evil,
Of God or death, of law or penalty?
Here grows the cure of all, this fruit divine,
Fair to the eye, Inviting to the taste,
Of virtue to make wise: what hinders then
To reach, and feed at once both body and mind?”

So saying, her rash hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the fruit, she plucked, she eat:
Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat
Sighing through all her works, gave signs of woe
That all was lost. Back to the thicket slunk
The guilty serpent, and well might; for Eve,
Intent now wholly on her taste, nought else
Regarded; such delight till then, as seemed,
In fruit she never tasted, whether true
Or fancied so through expectation high
Of knowledge; nor was godhead from her thought.
Greedily she ingorged without restrainht,
And knew not eating death, Satiate at length,
And heightened as with wine, jocund and boon…"
- Milton, Paradise Lost, Book IX

My garden isn’t exactly Eden, and I’m a bit different from Eve. One of my personal favorite sins is giving vent to my slightly warped sense of humor, particularly on or about April Fools Day, when I’m clearly intent on my own taste, nought else.

Meanwhile, I’m in a much better mood, having recently had some outdoor therapy. I planted a bunch of lavender varieties on the back south-facing bank. This breaks my general rule of planting fragrant plants on the walkway leading up to the spa. I figure I can keep an eye on them in back since it’s near my potting bench, and I can use them as a mother garden to take and propagate more of same. The blue hose is the drain for the sink at the potting bench, and I've pricked holes in it to serve as a drip irrigation to the lavender, sage and other herbs I'll be planting there.

I do sometimes feel like Eve this time of year, when I re-discover how wonderful it feels to create my own personal Eden adjacent to my modest vegetable garden. Although the quote is from Paradise Lost, getting back into the groove of yard work in warm weather, I feel like my back yard is Paradise Found – yet again every Spring.


Martha in Michigan said...

It's 72 degrees in SE Michigan today, for which we are paying with a tornado watch. Expected high tomorrow: 46. But today, in high winds and unseasonable warmth, I finally got the big viburnum moved from where it never fit in front of the house to my new garage-side bed in back. Had to butcher it top and bottom to do so but hope the bed of homemade compost will make it all better. While half the yard is still a spring swamp (and will be until June), I have windowsills full of baby tomatoes, peppers, violets (red-orange!), and purple mallows to line the fences. I await the Little Honey oakleaf hydrangea for the viburnum's old spot, red dwarf azalea and orange potentilla to join the viburnum and the host of hostas and blue-eyed grass I moved there, and several new kinds of annual plants I'm trying this year for beds and containers. The ground is littered with red maple flowers and I am just waiting for the forsythia to bloom so I know the ground is warm enough to stick veggies out within walls of water. The crocuses are in their glory, and the daffodil buds are getting fat. Ah, spring!

Martha in Michigan said...

So that was Friday. Sunday it was 34 and snowing lightly all day. Today (Monday), it's 53 and sunny. This place has amazingly volatile weather — but I have cut daffodils on my table, so all is right with the world.

Weeping Sore said...

Good grief! I've started stuff that seems to be doing ok, but we just finished 3 consecutive days of 90+ degree dry sun and some of the seedlings gave up in despair. I've been trying to root things outside, so I haven't got as much going in starts as you. I miss the forsythia, and didn't realize it was the harbinger of warm soil.
Since neither of us will want to give up our gardens in the future, much commuting will ensue.