Friday, June 14, 2013

The Tao of a lazy gardener

In the next life --- I'll be a master gardener, karma permitting. As it is, what comes to hand gets stuck in the ground, flourishes sometimes and sometimes doesn't. I'm in awe of the state-certified Master Gardeners who have been working on the museum grounds this spring; discouraged by efforts at home. But at least all the planters are full now.

It has been a good year, however, for red yarrow, now coming into bloom, after years of struggle. Maybe last summer's drought scared it; all this spring's rain certainly has encouraged it. But it seems to be flourishing.

I'm leery of yarrow, after a bad experience years ago. That was the old-fashioned yellow kind, much bigger than the red variety, planted optimistically ("I can control it") behind a stone wall that divided my flower beds of that time and place from the alley. It grew waist high and started coming under the wall and through cracks in it plus threatening the neighbors, too. Eventually, it had to be excavated and burned. This variety seems to be better behaved.

I'm not sure what these pink flowers are, but they're flourishing, too; towering over catmint, also in full bloom. Even the plain old garden sage is putting on a show.

Took the day off yesterday; left home only once --- to haul grass clippings to the dump. As a result, the grass has been cut and much of the trimming done, in one take for a change. Rain's in the forecast through Saturday, so that seemed wise.

I should have a weed-whacker. That would speed things along. Had one once, but it was challenging to store, kept whacking stuff I didn't want whacked and so, when the time came to figure out how to change the string, I gave it away. Still using hand-clippers. Don't have one of those things that blow clippings, etc., off the driveway and sidewalks either.

What I really like to do is sit on my butt in modified lotus position, clippers in hand, scooting around the edges of two raggedy garden patches in the back 40, trimming some of the time, admiring the view off to the southwest when not. This looks a little odd to passers-by, but it's good therapy.

And it reminds me of an old friend, Ruth Elvebak, who used to spend summers in a decrepit family house in another small town where I once lived. She worked sometimes as a street artist in New Orleans and elsewhere during colder months; wintered in Mexico other years.

Anyhow, Ruth had a big yard, 50 percent grass, 50 percent creeping charlie. Nearly every day, she put on old clothes and a big hat, picked up a basket and went out to pull charlie. This had nothing to do with getting rid of the invasive groundcover. It was just about pulling.

That's the way I garden, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the pink flowers are scabiosa or pincushioin flower!