Thursday, June 16, 2011

In Defense of Summer's Magic...

Summer vacation is upon us here in Southwest Virginia. Kids home 24/7...need I say more? The house is alive and wild, noisy and happy, bubbles being blown on the front porch and squirt guns squirting through screen windows...literally as I typed this my daughter just turned on the stereo and it was playing, "School's Out For Summer"...really loud, whereby I asked her to turn it off. Really off. Not that I don't like the music, just not when I'm writing. Of course, my son, coming out of his room every 5 minutes, where he's supposed to be cleaning, wearing 2 pair of underpants on his head, is not very helpful to my clear thoughts department anyway....ah, heck....where was I again? The kids are now in here playing checkers, so bare with me...

Where was I?! Summer energy! Vibrant and wild...so much going on...so many flowers in bloom, all competing for attention. Recently I expanded a circular garden out in front of my very village home, with just shy of an acre of land attached to it, most of which taken up by the house itself. Previously, the circle garden had some perennials in it I had dragged from my New York garden, where we moved from 3 years ago now. I had added a rose bush the first year we were here, that has produced a huge assortment of small, pretty bright pink non-smelly roses. Pretty, but unsatisfying and disappointing in the smell department. The blooms of the pink coneflower were a thrill, and the size of the tiny oregano plant which is now the size of a 5 foot shrub is amazing, yet the garden was still mostly boring.

We had discussed the idea of putting in raised beds in the back yard to house my herbs and tomatoes, but since the beds are supposed to tie in to the deck we have yet to build on the back of the house, I couldn't see spending the time making beds we would move again in a year. Therefore, the expansion of the circle out front was a no-brainer. So, enlarging of the circle began, digging into the concrete like solid dry clay surface *dirt* to get down into the wet red clay sub-*dirt*. Honest to Pete, in 3 years, I haven't seen a speck of REAL SOIL. Needless to say, my friends at Lowes must love me. Umpty bags of *soil* products and hours of soil amending later, the circle is twice its original size, I have a sunburned back and we have the fabulous Mohawk Victory Garden alive and well, housing a mass of herbs, new Mr. Lincoln roses which are THE BEST smelling roses ever-, my grape tomato plants now have a home in the soil, instead of sad little porch pots, and the entire arrangement has taken me one step closer to "living in the country" again :o)

Of course I couldn't just expand that garden. Nearby, the flower beds across the front of the house started looking pretty sad as well...so mid-project, I started digging those up too. Since I was in the dig-zone, I kept at it and dug everything that needed digging at the same time. Once I got my dig on, there was no point stopping. I don't think I have ever been that dirty before, not even back in mud pie making days....or when skiing down a mud slicked hill in the woods behind my childhood house with my earth shoe sneakers on, caked with 4 inches of mud...

Naturally, I needed more soil amendments...so off I went...and while shopping, found several new plants who wanted to come home with me. Okay. Let's define several. Several is the word I use when I don't want to say I filled the double decker cart full until there wasn't anymore room. Details, details. Some women buy shoes. I buy plants. Once a year. So there.

Enter the arrival of said new plants...all of which have since found their home, nestled in *new dirt*. They might actually grow now. A little behind the ball, as I always am, I tried to get bulbs to put in as well, so I could have some spring time blooms next year...daffodils, tulips, etc. Of course the few leftovers at the store were pretty much dried up and deadish, and even with the 50% off, I couldn't be tempted. I am all for rescuing a half dead plant, and will often shop the 75% off cart, finding something I can save, but I know defeat when I see it. Walk away from the dead bulbs, lady. OKay then. ...So, no bulbs went into my flower beds-for now anyway. Fall will find me doing the bulb thing, with fresh juicy healthy bulbs.

Of all the plants that came home with me, one plant made a huge impression. HIS name? Lancelot. He is "defender" variety of Purple/Blue Larkspur. In a word: AMAZING. Now, seriously, he didn't come with an actual personal name, but this plant deserved one. As soon as I came upon it in the store, there were no other plants for me. It was WOW factor, BLINGnooooo! I was determined to save him. I got out my plant tape/ribbon and gently bent him back into original position, tying him to a trellis taller then him, at various intervals so he might never have to face the "bends" again ;o) I am happy to report he is vibrantly healthy and happy again, full of new blossoms and blooming like a champion!....Now the dilemma: Now that Lancelot is anchored, he is still in his original pot from the store and will become pot bound. Oh dear! I am now considering somehow transplanting him to a larger pot, while still keeping him tethered to the trellis. That will take some maneuvering. He could have gone over to the Victory Garden location, but quite honestly, I wanted him in a position of prominence in the front porch area where he is close to where we sit and I can completely enjoy his presence as he defends our home :o) He is definitely a tribute to the magic of summertime.

And talk about summer time energy. Lancelot has it going on...and reminds me of all that is new and fresh and exciting. It's good to have reminders like that to prompt the brain, stimulate the senses, making us remember to slow down and take in simple beauty, before it slips away with the season. Similar to appreciating the summertime with the kids at home. No, I am not going to get much quality writing done, and I'll be lucky to even get to jump on the Thought Train successfully between now and back to school, but no matter. The kids are home NOW and it's time to PLAY. RIGHT NOW, is happening--summer energies vibrating big and bold and colorful with youthful fun, with the laughter of children and flowers. It's a beautiful place, this planet we live in, be it in the country, village, or city. Butterflies flitting about wherever you go reminding us of all the transformation going on in front of us, if we stop to see it. Little winged messengers there to shout, "HEY! Don't forget to stop and smell the roses!"

Even the not so smelly ones in village gardens. ;o)

BLOOM WHERE YOU'RE PLANTED :o)

cheers!