I read the most wonderful quote yesterday: "One of the supposed virtues of gardening is that it teaches humility. The plants are going to do what they are going to do."
I've recently discovered a passion for growing things. The elderly previous owner of this house had obviously neglected it in latter years, and when we moved in it was essentially a jungle of overgrown weeds; we had made some modest efforts to keep the nameless - and aggressive - vine which grows in these parts in check, but doing the full job was on the "eventually" list. Last year, since I was going to be at home for the entire summer, I decided "eventually" had arrived and it was time to come to grips with the project.
Well, what started out as "getting the weeds cleared" turned into "wouldn't it be nice to plant that area for real?" and before I knew it I had borrowed a friend's rototiller, was poring over catalogs, learning all I could about the plants that are reliable growers in this climate, and generally trying to learn how to do this gardening thing.
And I'm smitten. It's the most glorious antidote to the emotional intensity of opera and a music career (and a busy life) - so SIMPLE - and I've missed my "outdoor self" in recent years.
But now? It's too compelling to stay inside when I can be out there digging particularly as the weather hasn't yet soared to the uncomfortable and humid highs we usually get. Despite the spring allergies which plague me (particularly bad this year due to a very odd set of weather patterns - everybody in the area seems to be suffering) I've been leaping out of bed each morning to see how the plants are doing and get the most absurd thrill out of each new shoot, bud and flower. And really, what have I done? I've simply set up scenarios, and left it up to nature to do its thing - other than making the initial choices of what to plant, I've done nothing at all and yet I still get to reap the benefits.
Top left: alba "Maiden's Blush" (this one was the first rose I acquired last year. I thought it had died because it didn't get planted in time and overwintered in a pot; when I went to put it in the ground 6 weeks ago there was nothing left but a rather sad twig. I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a try, but was convinced it was a goner. Apparently - and happily! - I was very wrong!)
Middle right: Yellow shrub rose "Radsunny"
Bottom left: Peony (can't remember the name. I actually thought this one was going to be that deep red, but it must have been mislabelled because this is what came up and I can't say I'm complaining!)