knee deep in weeds

notes on a simple life

the garden || what is blooming right now

“I think that places, like people, ought to have boundaries. Who ever said that gardening was a public activity, anyway? Gardening, like making love, feels a lot better than it looks. Nobody buys tickets to gardening competitions. There's no such thing as the Gardening Olympics. There is no gold medal in Speed Weeding or Double Digging. Maybe there should be, but I wouldn't compete in a gardening Olympiad for all the compost in China. I go through ungainly contortions when I garden. I squat. I crawl around on my hands and knees. Most of the time I bend over, upended. That angle may be flattering to a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, but it is not flattering to me.” 
― Cassandra Danz, Mrs. Greenthumbs: How I Turned a Boring Yard into a Glorious Garden and How You Can, Too

Blooming Right Now ~ 

• The Roses (all 34 of them)   • The last Peony  • Astrantia Major (masterwort)   • Delphinium  • Siberian Bellflower  • Cranesbill   • Goatsbeard  • Campanula (white and blue)   • Ladies Mantel    • The first Daylily  • Meadow Rue  • Mountain Bluet   • Clematis (all three)   • Foxglove  • Yellow Loosestrife  • Iceland Poppies  • Jacobs Ladder

left to right, starting at the top:
mary rose, peony, siberian bellflower, cranesbill, masterwort, ballerina rose 

the work at the end of winter is overwhelming and i resist,
especially when i can't see beyond the rain and cold to the garden
that will be. . . 
there is so much work to do, buckets and buckets of cleanup,
plants to be divided and moved, compost to be brought in and worked into the soil,
garden tools to find and clean up and new gloves to buy. 
once there however, time gets away from me
and i come awake and alive, in my garden. 

meadow rue 

it is the place where i pray, meditate, think and work my way through life's questions
and find peace and calm. 
flowers have been divided and moved so often over the last 30 years, 
that i can hardly remember what the yard looked like when we moved in. 
the first perennial i planted in our yard, which was full of rhododendrons and azaleas
but not one flower. . . was a clump of white daisies, my old college roommate
dug up for me from her garden on Queen Anne. 
i have not seen her in over twenty years, but today her daisies  are all over my garden. 

purple campanula 

patches of grass have been confiscated over the years
to make room for flowers divided, flowers shared and flowers bought.
at my request, one of the boys would head out with a shovel to said patch of grass, 
"please remove this grass to make room for these flowers", i would ask; and they would do it, 
no questions asked. 


i am an easy-going gardener. no spaying of those 34 roses, so yes
there is a bit of black spot. no elaborate fertilizers either. 
when something gets too big, i sink my shovel into part of it,
find some dirt, dig a hole, fill it with water, and plant it. 
even when the books say it is not the season to do so. 
most of them live, so how can i argue with that. 

 "In no time the perennial borders were thick with rosy-pink foxglove and cream-colored lilies, each of which hung like a pendant, collecting dew on its satiny petals."
Author: Alice Hoffman

iceland poppies 

some of my favorite flowers are the ones i have stumbled upon
in other people's gardens. often by following a handpainted sign,
on the side of some road reading, "plants for sale". 
sometimes the generous gardener does not remember the name, but there is always
gratifying conversations and stories, which make the plant more meaningful. 

hot coca and playboy 

the daisies are just starting to bud, so it won't be long
before they are dancing in the beds and our love affair will continue. . . 

how does your garden grow? 

I want real flowers, perennials which not only grow and change and die, but also rise again and astonish me. A garden shouldn't just bloom and look pretty it should develop like the rest of life. Otherwise it, and we, live only to be spaded under.
Emma L. Roth-Schwartz