Sunday, September 25, 2016

Dairy of a garden

Monday... I knew that the task of preparing the garden for the winter months was going to be an arduous, if not a brutal endeavor.  And all throughout the summer these thoughts have been pressing on my mind.  Fearing the task, but also already envisioning the wonderful, final results after all had been done. 

I cannot say I have lost my love for gardening in a bit.  My flower-passionate heart would never feel that way, but I have definitely lost some interest over to disappointment at how things work here in the south for gardens and gardeners.  It is such a cruel world down here for the passionate gardener. And I haven't been working outside as much as I should, or would have liked to do so this summer. Only going out in the early morning when levels of heat and humidity are not as high, and mosquitoes are not as active.  Doing only small tasks, like taking care of the unstoppable weeds that love growing on the beautiful pea pebble paths, and such.  Thus, I have let the garden grow a bit on the wild side, a bit rampant and a bit lost, whilst my mind filled with guilt and the burden of knowing how much it needed be done out there, and how much I dreaded the task.  But alas, the chore couldn't be postponed any longer, and I have been assaulted by all and every one of my fears as I relentlessly worked my garden this past week.

...Working working, been eaten alive by mosquitoes, jiggers and whatever else may be flying out there in this blood-sucking insect world of mine, been scratched by poison ivy, weather-beaten, stabbed by thorns, pruning the roses, the lovely Crepe Myrtles and butterfly bushes under such heat and humidity.  I have to learn how to stop.  Learn to leave some things as they are, or want to be and just be good to myself.  I have to learn. But again, I have been learning, and that's why the garden had been in such disarray...  life is just made of contradictions, indeed.    

Pruning has allowed me to bring in some lovely bouquets too...

Yarrow... who would have thought that the wild yarrow grew this tall, or this wide?  Two years ago I planted a small yarrow plant on a pot, the yarrow plant died that winter, but seeds exploded and blew out and the yarrow reseeded itself and grew outside the pot.  The foliage is beautiful, and delicate as can be, and I love the scent that waft from it... today, as I was pruning the crepe myrtles and pulling out all that vinca vine, I decided to trim down the yarrow to the ground.  Would it grow again?  Did I kill it?  I have never cultivated yarrow before, so I'll have to wait to see.  I cut the tips of some of the super tall branches and made a lovely flowerless bouquet.  I love the delicate, sweet-smelling foliage. 

Tuesday... all the vinca vine has finally been removed and all the flower beds pruned and cleaned.  I have been hating the vinca vines all summer, and have been wanting to remove it all throughout the entire summer.  It never cease to amaze me how something as beautiful and precious could be so invasive and noxious at the same time.  And thus it turned out that what I saw as a blessing when we first moved here it has been such a huge mess; gobbling up every other plant that grows by it, every raised bed and lower perennial.  Be very careful with what you plant in your garden.  With some plants, pruning alone is not enough.  To thwart the destructive nature of some climbing plants and vines they will have to be removed by hand to the roots.  And that's what I've been doing... playing tug of war with the vinca vines in my garden.  My wrists, my back and legs, my entire body aches.  But there, I did it.  It's all done.

Wednesday... I have spent another two straight hours this morning working on the front gardens of our little white cottage.  Trimming the fast-growing spiky holly hedge was such a nightmare.   This hedge has grown too big and too close to the house, making it difficult, if not impossible to be trimmed off from the back, unless you squeeze yourself in there and dare get spiked and scratched and God forbid, bitten by some spider or something else.  

I guess you can say I'm a daredevil when it comes to gardening.  And isn't it like that for every daredevil out there when it comes to whatever passion may fill their soul?  We never think anything bad can happen, an we go into it without having think twice.  Thus, all the holly hedge around our little white cottage is now done.  It was a hell of a job! 

We'll be busy busy from now on until the end of year.  Some very exciting things coming up our way, traveling by road and air, singing with Willie Nelson "goin' places that I've never been, seein' things that I may never see again... like a band of gypsies we go down the highway"... and thus, we'll be on our way to Spain tomorrow, excited as I can be and as edgy as a leaf in a tornado... airplanes and foreign countries can get you feeling a little tense these days, but I will think of only lovely things.  Follow me on Instagram if you'd like to see what we'll be doing!

Hasta Luego!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Changes in the air...

Sunday... Nights have started to lengthening.  Have you noticed?  I woke up earlier than usual this Sunday morning and was truly surprised to find that by 7:00 am it was still dark outside.  And thus, all the little lights were turned on, one by one.  

Our little cottage felt cozy, and inviting, resembling a page out of a children's fairytale book.

It's been cloudy all day long, and I love the feel and look of days like this.  And the garden is a myriad of fallen leaves.  The usual melancholy of autumn rests upon every plant and every tree.  Everywhere I look I see an old men tree and an old woman flower.  Shrubs, vines, trees, the land is getting ready for the long slumber ahead.  I shiver at this revelation of one's self, established in Nature, and as these thoughts enter my mind, and accommodate to the rhythm of my own life, I close my eyes and, like Nature itself surrender body and soul to the Great I am.  It is so beautiful, and pitiful.  This dying of the natural world.  All is, as we all are too as sad as the passing of summer.  

Under this cloudiness, I took with me a cup of caramel latte and walked the silent garden, examining everything, and pondering about all these things.  The cloudy morning was just so beautiful in its old soul.   

My collection of  'morning' gowns keeps growing. 

I love them all, and love to wake up to a new day and wrap myself in any of these lovely, long flowy things. 

My morning walks in the garden are always more beautiful, more mythical.  The dewy freshness of the hour and rapture of the birds are lovelier when wrapped is the body in flowy silky beauties...

As I go about the house preparing breakfast, I feel like a queen walking the quiet hallways and corridors of some ancient, ghost inhabited castle.  Tea lights here, a lovely lamp turned on there.  Eggs for breakfast, and artisan breads and butter and orange marmalade.

I am ready to change the summer feeling in our little white cottage to a more appropriate autumnal one.  And thus, I have been redecorating, putting away those summer bouquets and roses, and bringing in the crimsoned leaves and toasted spikes.   Soon, all the ferns will have to be brought in, and I'm thinking where can I put them, as our little cottage is already cramped with too many lovely things.  

The desert witches must had been summoning up all the rains this summer, leaving us here dwellers of the green lands dried, and thrifty for it.  But finally this afternoon the doors of heaven had opened up, gifting us with a much needed, delicious downpour that, as it receded, it beckoned me outside, and kept me there for hours working in the garden.  Until a second spell of heavy, stormy delicious rain approached, sending me running inside to hide in the protection of the quiet, cozy and rain-darkened little cottage.  What a lovely, lovely day this has been.

How are you all doing? Have you noticed any changes taking place in your little world already?  Soon there will be trees dressed in fox-like colors and their leaves will look like burnt sugar coated caramels falling from the sky.  But first, so much to do!  I've been busy busy winterizing the garden. The work had been cruel, but so worth it.  I will share more stories with you again, sooner than soon. In the mean time... fly through the air and live in the sunlight and enjoy life as much as you can.  It's that time of year again! ;)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Life here and there

Summer is gathering up her skirts of glories and, like a dream, is gliding away.  Slowly, but certain, I see it fading into the nothingness of another year, as it lends us the graces to be able to fold another page of our history into the drawers of our time.  

And as I see a last vision of gathered petal skirts and sun-kissed robes at the bend of the horizon, a tinge of sadness fills this old soul.  It is hard to let go.  And although my heart awaits the colorful days ahead with its dancing of leaves and crispy breezes, it insists in retaining whatever is left of that, which is living us... clinging to it as if I could in any possible way make it part of my soul.  I am a sentimental, and always will.   

Thankful too, that I am feeling much better lately, that my days have regained their accustomed hues, and I'm able to break out of that inner shell where I hide sometimes.  What a blessing health is, clear in my mind, happiness begins with a huge portion of good health.  

We have spent a few lovely days in the Tampa Bay area in Florida, enjoying the ocean and ocean breezes, and then it's been the mountains and the lake, and my soul always prefers the last... 

Prefers this quieter communion with a much softer part of nature, with the secluded woods surrounding the placid lake and mountains dressed in lively emeralds, ever so absent of the noises of population.   

In the garden at the little white cottage, roses are in perfect bloom again...

Are they the last jewels of the year?  I bring them inside and hope that there will be still some time left for more, a time of warmth to linger a little longer onto the tableau of autumn for more roses to come, and more bouquets.

I have been searching for some packages of sunflower seeds to spread in the vegetable beds facing the rose beds, so that my roses may have something almost as sweet as themselves to look at until winter arrives, but thus far I haven't found any.  I've always fantasize with the idea of an autumnal garden filled with sunflowers, even when it is a ridiculous thought, as sunflowers are the jewels of summers, but wouldn't it be glorious if we could plant fields of yellow sunflowers to go with all the oranges and crimsons in the autumnal landscape?   

Birds and little creatures are everywhere, as if sensing that soon summer will be gone and they must not waste any time that it is not enjoying every minute of it...  I love watching them swooping from bird feeder to tree branches, running up and down so fast in four little legs-arms as they do...

I remember those days a few years ago when my tarnished silver teapots were something of a sacred thing to me.  The romanticism inspired by patina and feelings brought to surface by bygone life and lives, spoke to my heart in a thousand magical ways back then.  But things change with the passing of time.  Life changes.  We change.  And as we grow with life we also discover that things that were of some importance to us, or to our nature, become unimportant. And thus, I didn't have to think for a second, or believe I was making a mistake when I started spray-painting this old teapot that, for the longest time I can remember it remained tarnished and sacred to me in its holly patina.  Like a relic. 

What I have learned in life is, if there's something you want to do as far as decorating goes is, do it.  Paint, alter, dump, replace, whatever you want, do it if it is within your means and is what your heart is telling you.  Life is too short to dwell on things that have stopped being important to us, or have loose meaning, or interest to us.  Heck, let's live!

Isn't it pretty painted in gold!  I am looking forward to the introspect days of winter when my hours will consist in making my nest a little prettier, a little more comfortable and homier, and spending more time in homemaking as I spend less hours occupied in the garden.  It always bring so much joy these thoughts of home, and family.  But then again, each season have its own glories to be shared, and I can already imagine my excitement of those late winter days thinking, and wishing for the rebirth of the garden. Every moment is precious.  So let us enjoy each and everyone one of them!

Hope you're doing well,
wherever you are!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

A little bit of my days...

So I've been home, only able to visit the gardens from time to time and then come in again and rest some more... been adding pages to an old book I started years ago, writing again, working on a new journal, and wishing my body possess wings... to break free, from this same old body, from my mind from my self and my miseries, and fly above all I see and feel. 

I haven't been able to come here either, this beloved place of all places, because I haven't been feeling well lately, and last night was the first night I was able to sleep.  Pain is subsiding.  I have eaten again.  So much I want to do, so many cute outfits I want to wear, some new shoes, new shawls too, and as I recuperate, bit by bit, my old self will pour in again making me who I am again.  From whatever place was it hiding?  My old self.  When I'm ill, or not feeling well, I turn into someone else.  A muted, kind of a hermetic soul, and I would not talk to anyone or see anyone... only the birds for company.

I'm not completely well yet, but the sun is bright and it is warm and nature is painting my world with small brushes of color.  The leaves are already falling profusely, and the gardens' floors are filled with the dried, leaves of the maple trees, all in a variety of sizes and toasted-colored hues.  Fall is approaching faster than I had seen these past years since we're been south.  Shall I anticipate another unusual colder year?

The garden is in its prime.  All its beauty, all its magic is upon us in a thousand blessings.  Clear skies, sunshine, little wind, and, except for a sharp touch in the afternoons, few really hot days. My jars and vases are gay with roses, the flowers of Crepe Myrtles and the Big Blue Liriope, Monkey grass.  


The gardens are mothering so many butterflies... There is not a creature in all this part of the world who could in the least understand with what heart-beatings I am looking forward to the visit of an owl in the autumnal gardens, the sounds of autumnal evenings and the scent of the season... what happy thoughts those are to me.  And I'm already feeling better just to think about these things... about good things and the hope of it.  It is no wonder the Bible reminds us "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things"...  for such thoughts do bring mirth and joyfulness and hope to our minds and body, as they change the chemistry of our brain.

A transition. A time-in-between. 
 The flowering of late summer and melancholy of early autumn... 
what a beautiful time of year. 
 A mixing so delicious


I engage in morning prayer at 8:30, or 9:00 and kneel down under the window, facing the tall trees in the front of our little cottage.  Every day I see the changes taking place in my little world from this view... how the sun moves in its journey through the heavens, what quality of light is bathing the earth, how the trees change with the seasons and the days and the natural course of things... my soul too, gains vision, and I am stronger, and wiser when under the window.   I am rich in every way...

I will try to come again soon, and if feeling better will bring one or two stories I must share, but for now, hope you'd enjoy our little 'paseo' around the gardens and home.  Hope you're doing well, and enjoying each moment gifted to you...  Hugs.

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