A tiny moth, its wings whirring so fast I can’t make them out, hovers over the grass. The moth rests on an elongated blade and just as suddenly as I notice it, disappears. The lawn is long and lush, just the way I like it. Only when it still holds the early morning dew and my shoes become wet, do I wish it were shorter.
I thought I would weed in the upper garden, behind the tall shrubs that flower in the spring, but never get there. The cool shade is too welcome, among the hosta.
It’s easy to clip off the long seed stems of the large hosta. I have enough plants and don’t want self-sown seedlings sneaking up through the little stones on the path or further crowding the established ones. The immature seed stalks from the smaller varieties, and my favorites with their luscious yellow color, will remain. In the fall, I’ll collect these, allow them to dry and then plant them in the early spring. I remember when my grandson and I planted hundreds of seeds and watched them appear, tiny green mouse ears, under lights in the basement.
Heavy, healthy, invasive vines are hard to pull out. Some I clip and others I just pull until they give way. Poison ivy, that I never noticed all summer, brushes against my arm and I trudge inside to wash with soap and water.
Dead branches that fell during some summer rain or wind storm rest on top of azaleas that bloom bright red in the spring. Others stick up between rhododendrons that earlier in the season sport blooms, pure white against their deep green leaves. It’s a relief to remove these eyesores which have bothered me.
While I’m in the garden, I never hear the cars and trucks roar along my street, the planes on route to the airports. I don’t hear leaf blowers or young people playing in a neighbor’s pool. I do hear the chickadee and the squirrel. A light breeze ruffles my hair. Carefully I watch a white faced hornet fly by. He ignores me and I’m careful not to make any unexpected motion.
When my weeding is done for the day, I notice a hundred seeds that have attached themselves to my light sweater. In the house, one by one, I pull them off. They grip with an unexpected intensity that enables them to be successful, sticking to the animal or person that walks by. They’ll fall off somewhere else and next spring, grow in that new spot, spreading the species, ensuring their success.
Jane, your writing is beautiful. Your work for the MFA is coming though clearly. I was with you in your lovely garden. It was almost enough to make me head out to my small, overgrown patch. Instead, I’m satisfied accompanying you. .
Thank you Catherine. You’re welcome anytime.
Reblogged this on grandmacharitychallenge.
You’ve transported me, an old gardener, in this description of what it’s like to lose oneself in the garden. Right from the beginning when you allow yourself to be drawn to the shade and with the hosta, and the associated pleasant memory of growing seeds with your grandson, and to put off the less pleasurable job of weeding in the upper garden behind the tall shrubs. What a wonderful way to relax and be free.
How many times has it happened to me that after making careful plans, I set these plans aside to respond to more intriguing, interesting bids from other parts of the garden. In my case, the initial workplan, made mentally before even entering the garden is easily overcome, thankfully, by the presence of the real living thing. Not to say that we forget forever about the weeding behind the tall shrubs!
Thanks for reminding me why I garden.
Love, Chris james
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What a lovely picture, Jane. Thanks you. 🙂