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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

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cuban oregano

Despite my pictures of the icy landscapes that form on some of the windows in this bitter cold, the sun does shine bright through those very same windows and so my plants shake loose their night time chill and seem to thrive though I have been a vary poor caretaker of late.

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flat leaf parsley

The geranium continues to thrive and even grow new leaves though I have it sitting in the coldest room in the house but in a spot that gets the most direct sun at a certain time of day.

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geranium

And I learned long ago that it is best to just let the nasturtium and African violet just be. Not too much water and let them find the sun in their own way.

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nasturtium

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african violet

And while the branches on the oak tree are winter bare, so the sun just pours in, I see an opportunity to plant some sprouts for now and to think about what else I’d like to plant in the future.

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sprouts planted and empty vessels waiting for seeds

This Sunday it felt good to rise from my desk … and take a break from, though not hide from, the absurdity of the news today … and put hands into soil and sort through seeds and muse upon what I’d like to grow.

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I’m in the mood to plan a winter garden. I think in the coming week that is one of the things I shall endeavor to do in one of my blank notebooks. Design a garden. Now planning such a garden, and even implementing it, will in no way save the world or “fight the powers that be” but it will center me and that’s important for when I am ready to deal with the insanities of this world through words or images, my pocketbook or my vote.

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I did garden this past spring and summer. It was a hodge podge, not a great failure, but not quite the success of previous years. Even so I did find joy in cooking with the fresh herbs and even in watching their beautiful decay when I would forget to water them. Ahem.

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Growing lavender indoors was a spur of the moment experiment. Not wholly successful but still growing and smelling delightful. That’s the plant I unfortunately watered too much. But I’m learning.

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Part of the winter garden will include the geraniums given as a gift by a young friend not knowing that I mostly grow herbs inside. The red petals, when fresh and now dried, brighten several rooms and I hope they will do so this winter. We’ll see …

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I went outside to dump the trash and thought I’d take a look at the morning glories growing on the wall nearby. Most of the flowers gone of course but then I noticed the little seed heads and somehow they found themselves in my house sitting in the sun. I’m going to add them to my box of seeds for this year’s winter garden.

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From her lovely garden in Brooklyn. These that weren’t eaten on the road back to Boston were sliced up with some cucumbers and celery and tossed with oil and vinegar. Good stuff! 🙂

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I need to prepare for winter in all sorts of ways. I am beginning by planning my garden. I finally, finally, finally cleared away those things that had died or had served their time and their purpose. I consolidated the potted herbs that thrived like the oregano with those herbs struggling but worth nurturing like the tarragon. Spread around me are empty pots, vases and votives. So many votives in different colors and sizes. I love lighting tealight candles in the winter time, not so much to banish the darkness but to bring out the beauty as light and shadow dance on the various surfaces.

In previous winters I’ve grown tomatoes and potatoes in addition to herbs, sprouts and edible flowers. I live in a house with many windows so there is a wonderful greenhouse effect. Though I sometimes freeze the plants do surprisingly well as light pours in at different angles throughout the wintry days. It’s not yet happened but it will — the oak tree that towers over one side of the house will lose its leaves and even more light will enter. I try to remember that as I plan my gardening strategy.

It is also a decorating strategy. What is it that I want to see and perhaps even need to see in the winter time as I enter a room or hallway in my home? What do I want others to see? While I don’t think I think it through that thoroughly it is a rather, soothing creative time. It might also be a procrastination time … there are so many books I need to read, want to read, and things I need to write. But I choose to believe that putting those things aside, concentrating on this task of cleaning, arranging and strategizing is part of my creative process.

I am done for the day and pleased enough with the results so far. My to do list for next week includes buying a small bag of potting soil and then I’ll begin to plant my sprouts and we’ll see what else falls in to the soil.

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