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Posts Tagged ‘gardens’

garlic harvest 2021

It was a little scary planting the cloves last fall. Was the spacing right? Would there be enough sunlight? What about the darned squirrel that keeps digging in the dirt? In the end, it turned out alright. Only lost one bulb to the squirrel.

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It was simply and strangely beautiful. Walking through a world-class museum. There should have been chaotic hustle and bustle, the sounds of school children, teens taking selfies, seniors dressed to the nines meeting up for tea. Instead my friends and I were part of a very small cohort of people with tickets to see the Monet exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Art until we we were ready to leave and create space for others to enter. It was a special treat. Even as social distancing has become a new norm of the moment in the age of COVID, there have also been created these weirdly intimate opportunities to experience the world.

I expect that this exhibit of 35 Monet and other paintings would have been curated quite differently pre-pandemic. The current curation is expansive. There’s lots of space between paintings, and you’re moved through several large rooms that provide just enough information about his life, his influences, the growth of his garden, and the creation of that magnificent pond.

We are reminded of Monet’s triumphs. He was an acknowledged success during his life time. But we are also reminded of his humanity as we learn of his struggles to achieve his artistic vision … struggles that in the end produced great beauty.

An excellent exhibit and one I hope others have an opportunity to view in person. But if you can’t visit there is a lovely preview video on the MFA’s website, a slide show, behind the scenes with the curator and much more. See link below.

https://www.mfa.org/exhibition/monet-and-boston-lasting-impression

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It has been many years since I’ve spent considerable time outside gardening in a yard. And what I am relearning is patience … a watched seed does not sprout overnight. Even if the package says “full sun” sometimes you have to move the plants into the shade. Overwatered plants die. I need to wait patiently and let them dry out.  Squirrels, birds and rabbits and I need to find some common ground, and that will take time. I’m not going anywhere and apparently neither are they.

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Lunch breaks are for networking at conferences … and, depending upon the weather, a great time to wander away from the crowds and explore a place. You never know what you will discover, like this little autumn garden on the side of a hill still abloom.

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I don’t think the landlord’s landscaper purposefully planted the cosmos in the frontyard garden so that from the second floor I could stand at the kitchen window and find comfort in their pale purple color and swaying form down below. In the light of an overcast morning they appear pastel-like, soft and dreamy. I sometimes want to ask my landlord, can I please cut them so that I may place them in a vase and sit that vase on a desk just for me to see? But even if he allowed such a thing, those cosmos would no longer sway in the breeze. They would no longer offer sustenance to the creatures that feed upon their pollen. They would no longer be available to view by the landlord and his family who live on the first floor and from whose kitchen window they too can see the garden, though from a different perspective. They would no longer be available to view by the people on the street who pass by, on foot and by car, or who wait at the bus stop which is right there too. They would become a private thing, in decline in still waters, instead of public and vibrantly alive in the soil.

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In the garden there are also sunflowers, some open and dying, and others yet to bloom. Milkweed is tucked here and there attracting (yay!) Monarchs, the first I’ve seen in a long time around here. The leaves of the lilies persist vibrant green though the flowers have long since had their glory in profusion. They line one wall of the garden while the other wall is lined by lavender. It is rectangular this garden. Not big, just big enough.

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When I sit at the kitchen table, as I do now to write this post, I cannot of course see the downstairs garden but I can see my little upstairs indoor garden. And through the window I can see the the branches of the towering oak.  It grows on an adjacent small plot of land, its shade not interfering with the garden at all. I enjoy the dark green of its leaves. I think the acorns have mostly fallen or been eaten by squirrels and blue jays. When winter comes and those leaves are gone, if I am still here in this place, I will be able to plant a whole new indoor garden in the hallway because  light will stream in past the then-bared branches. My microgreen sprouts await, their seed packets tucked in a cool corner, awaiting their chance to thrive before I harvest them to add some spice to some winter soup or such.

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In writing this post, I am procrastinating. Arrayed around me on the table are books and papers and pretty markers and a calendar or two. I have deadlines to meet on several writing projects. That’s a whole different side of my brain than the one I use for photography and design. That work is more free flowing. The writing has to be structured and I struggle to be in a structured place at the moment. I want to sway like the cosmos, go where the wind takes me but … I need to plant my feet (or actually my bottom to this chair) and focus. My writing deliverables are clear and to be honest not that hard to complete. I just need to do it, and stop contemplating about public and private spaces or the tumult that is this present world. And most of all I should not try to track down my crusty watercolors and try to paint purple cosmos and yellow sunflowers. At least not today. Alrighty … back to work. 🙂

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It is the end of the season but …

… the roses are still beautiful and …

… still growing.

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I did not think the petunias would grow indoors.  I thought they’d bloom for a short while and then fade away, but somehow they have lasted the summer and now bloom confidently into the fall.

They have outlasted the basil, thyme and mints.

They soak up the sun near the hardier herbs – the oregano, sage and rosemary.  The plant’s white flowers shade the poinsettia that is still bright green and the stellar red garden mum, a hostess gift still hanging on.

I think I have tried to grow petunias indoors before with little luck.  They are a complex flower for me, not my favorite and yet I can’t help but think of them as my mother’s plant.

She grew them in wooden boxes and converted tires that my father made and arranged in the yard for her.  We shall see if this plant thrives into the winter months.  Not to rush time, but I can’t wait to see the white blooms against the window with snow falling down.

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