When we moved into this house 5 years ago there wasn't a whole lot going on.
First there was mud. Then there were some hosta and daylillies around the foundation, a forsythia, and some stepping stones scattered through the lawn.
Like a good Southern girl I popped a couple of boxwood urns on top and called it a day.
But that didn't last long and before I knew it I was excavating a stone pathway, which turned out to be deeper and more complete than I'd ever thought possible. I mean, it was almost completely covered in grass and we'd been driving the lawn mower over it for a year! I was also seeing the vision (that is now a reality) of an evolving mass of foliage and flowers which would be the entrance to our house.
What better place for a garden? The supposed dwarf (HA!) willows I planted are a little fresh sometimes, hanging into the walkway and tickling passersby and if I'm not on top of it Adam will do some not-so-judicious pruning with his field machete, but when I build a garden isn't the idea to be IN IT?
I don't want to sit and look from afar and say "oh how pretty". I don't want a landscape or a vignette. I want a full on assault. I want to be forced to look closely. I want to be surprised. I want to be engulfed by something messy and overgrown.
Well, I'd say I get that.
And everyone that comes to visit will feel it too. Let there be no mistake who lives here.
I know this might sound crazy, and probably more confessional than I intended writing about my garden to be, but often times when I hit it right and am looking at something I've grown that is REALLY RIGHT I feel like I'm looking in the mirror. Like I'm looking in the mirror and seeing more of myself than I can when I look in an actual mirror.
Again, it sounds crazy but it's like I'm one with my plants. And there is no second guessing. No self doubt. No debate. What I'm seeing is beautiful and real and alive.
And it's amazing.
And I put it there.
And most of the time it wasn't easy. I had to sweat, and push beyond my own limitations. I had to find patience while the seeds germinated, and plants grew, and my children yelled at me to please stop digging!
I sometimes had to accept defeat.
And I had to let a lot of things go. Like, my house is usually dirty. And I don't mean messy, I mean DIRTY. Like real dirt dirty. Like a thin layer of airborne potting soil from the greenhouse settled all over everything dirty. And sometimes I don't cook every Godforsaken vegetable I grow. Sometimes an entire bushel of tomatoes gets composted. Sure, I canned this year. Dilly beans. That's it.
Luckily tomatillos and beets are patient and it will frost this week I'm sure of it so maybe my harvest kitchen ain't over yet, but I'm getting off track.
When I started this blog I didn't really know why I was doing it. Making myself sick with computer procrastination (I'm really quite rugged in that department) and uploading a season's worth of images, I still don't know what is going to come out when I "let 'er rip" (as my sister once described my writing). Today I have found that by digging deeper I am getting closer to the root of why I garden.
Getting from here...
Why I feel the need to go tell it on the mountaintop of the internet still illudes me, but those are little pieces of dirt for another day.