Monday, July 30, 2018

Glass half...?


For the days when you are upright and stringing together entire sentences, fragrant cardamom and Thai basil leaves are fantastic in a gin and tonic - reason enough to grow both (the cardamom overwinters indoors). I sip this while potting up perennials. I am ungardening. Unplanting. Pulling up roots. Today I did the deadly ones. Wolf's bane. Doll's eyes. I turned my eyes skywards and breathed deeply. Then washed my hands really well.

Sometimes you make like a grass and bend in the wind. And sometimes you lie flat with the covers over your head and howl.

Gradually, in-ground plants are being dug up and potted, fed, watered, and allowed to settle, ahead of our move. Plastic pots of all sizes have been donated by Michele, my friend who owns the wonderful Gowanus Nursery. She has also given me recycled soil, saving me a packet. We fetched the soil late on Sunday, after a day spent in the upstate woods. 

Sometime this month, probably in the last week, the plant party will happen. 

No, we don't have a move date (but the cut-off is the end of September) and no, we have not found the right space, yet. It will be a magical combination of the rent we can afford, the space we need, a neighborhood we like, and enough light that we don't want to slit our wrists. 


The Nicotiana (scented N. alata and pretty mutabilis) are in their second flush; I cut down their first flowering stalks about four weeks ago, and they sent more up. Don't let yours languish when those first flowers are spent: be brave, mow them down, and they will do it all over again. And again. The tall white cleome are transplants from the pots at our front door, on the opposite side of the house. They are much happier here in the back garden, with less heat. They are very thirsty plants, and I have to water them every day.

It may seem crazy to tend a garden that is being undone. It may be crazy to have planted the arugula, purslane, amaranth, and fenugreek seeds that are now coming up. But I am a gardener. I grow things. Neglect and indifference are symptoms of an inner death. 

And I am very much alive. 

_________________________


15 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. ...so much unsaid. Thanks, Diane.

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  2. Good luck in finding a new place where you can plant the garden of your heart and enjoy it for years to come.

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  3. You're such an inspiration...wishing you the best for your next move..

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  4. I adore your writing! You inspire me and make me get off my duff and go out there to get some dirt under my nails; and before you can say gin and tonic with cardamom leaves I feel good about the world.
    What is the Latin name of your cardamom please.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Cardamom is Elettaria cardamomum. Mine comes from companionplants.com

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  5. You'll find it ... hopefully soon! Thanks for the hint on the nicotiana. Grew for the first time this year. Now I'm going outside to hack it down!

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    1. Is it hacked? :-) Thank you, Win...

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  6. OMG, moving again? Ugh, I'm so sorry. May this be the time you finally end up in a great spot!

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    1. Not a good feeling. Thank you, Leslie!

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    2. Oh Marie, not another move! Perhaps it’s time to bite proverbial bullet and try to buy in an affordable suburb, maybe close-in, maybe not chic yet?
      I truly feel for you both! And this latest garden is just gorgeous. I’ve loved watching it grow, as am sure all your readers have.
      Warmly and greenly,
      Diane in sweltering Denver

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  7. I was pushed out by my landlady after 12 years. I took their barren weed filled backyard and turned it into a secret garden with wisteria lilacs roses clematis echinacea ferns herbs camellias and then had to leave but I took every thing excerpt the wisteria and the sleeping clematis and froerns and perennials BEC I moved in March. The new place promised the whole backyard and then reneged as they did on several th8ngs. So I have the smallest darkest place between two garages with the worst soil. My camellias and roses and honeysuckle are all in pots as are my loved boxwood. Nothing will be planted it will all be in big comtainers or small wood beds it’s too hot to do it now but it sept and oct. the worse is that there is a tree that is a weed tree and shades this area which they will let me pay to cut down but it will is close to 300 to do this.

    I hope you have better luck

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    Replies
    1. Ugh, I am so very sorry to hear this. I really feel for you. I wonder if some edible tropicals might do OK in your shaded area (but they'd have to come in in winter). xxx

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