I started writing this a few days ago before being saddened by the recent act of mass murder, this time in Florida. John Donne wrote long ago “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind.” I see that of course as “any person’s”. Once again we are all diminished because an unstable person was able to obtain an assault weapon.
I find comfort in our increasingly violent and also materialistic world in living things that don’t know about and are not affected by these things. Animals are top of my list, both domesticated and wild. Plants are next. So, I continue to happily engage with animals and plants and put the rest of this world in the back of my head when I can. I come out of it refreshed and a little more ready to cope.
I am helped by the fact that June is really busting out all over.
I have always loved musicals and even ones I haven’t seen for years leave their songs in me. This blog title is a song from Carousel which was set in Maine making it even more endearing to me.
Our growing season isn’t all that long here in Massachusetts which doesn’t bother me because as much as I love to lose myself in gardening, I am ready for the change of season to fall when it comes.
By the same token I appreciate the opportunity to grow things when spring arrives. The explosions of color do feed the soul. Most of the iris were already here except for the dark purple ones that were given by an iris expert friend.
Before we moved here I had only seen the house once. I told myself that I would plant a peony bush here because I had one at our other house and loved its old timey appeal.
After we moved in I found there were already 10 peony bushes!
I planted lupine last year because we were once lucky enough to have a house on Prince Edward Island and they were everywhere up there. This is their first year blooming.
I plant annuals too. I had just put these in so they weren’t acclimated but I was transfixed by their shadow on the shed wall.
I couldn’t resist this cute little fairy. My over active imagination likes to think she flies around when I am not looking. In fact I am sure she does. Maybe she shape changes to one of the hummingbirds at our feeder sometimes.
Each year when I put a flower pot by the well I think about the first woman who lived here, Julia Ann Storey, in the 1830s. She must be shaking her head when she sees that I have the time and frivolity to use the well for decoration, not for lugging buckets and buckets of water from it each day as she likely did.
I have planted some tomatoes and plan to get the rest of our vegetables from a great Farmer’s Market a mile away. There are other plants here that will feed us, some eventually. This elderberry bush that our son put in for us was 24″ tall when he planted it. Six weeks later it is 38″ tall.
He and I also put in an herb spiral that will grow both in number of plants and spiral over time.
My sea kale is coming along. I don’t expect to eat much of it this year, maybe a little in the fall, because like many perennials it is around for permanence, not for quick growth.
The chickens aren’t left out either. Of course they would rather eat their garden than admire it. I hope what I see as cuteness isn’t torture to them! The plants in their garden must truly be hardy New Englanders because the hose doesn’t reach this far so they don’t get watered as much and it gets a lot of shade. In here go plants I transplant from other parts of the yard and ones left over from the annuals. It is never the exactly same year to year. The three chickens watch my every move when I am working in it and comment to each other.
June is busting out all over with the help of gifts from the past of peonies, iris, the old well, hen house and shed with window boxes, gifts from others of plants and time like the purple iris, elderberry bush and planting of elderberry and herb spiral, maybe the magic of a little fairy and as always watered by happy sweaty labor of the gardener, me.
There are even more plants with stories and I appreciate what each one brings to my life. I hope everyone who loves to garden is getting the same chance to enjoy it and that those who don’t can fully enjoy their own passions.