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Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Anti-Resolution Post

Just to let you know up front, I'm not a resolution maker. New Years Eve at my house varies from going to bed early with a good book to staying up late with friends who shout hysterically inappropriate responses to all board games involving verbal answers. Absolutely no thought is given as to how I will reprimand myself the following day. As for resolutions, I don't see the point in making them all at once and then using them to govern myself the rest of the year. My resolutions are made on the fly as I do something stupid, realize it was stupid, and then resolve not to do it again. It's fairly successful.

But this year, I thought that maybe I'd take a break from my normal non-resolution routine to try to make a few that I can actually keep.

1. I resolve to blow my budget less explosively than I did last year.

2. When ever I run into small, pointy objects such as fences, trees, or giant shrubs, I resolve to mumble words that rhyme with ship and truck instead of yelling them.

3. I resolve to only buy 5 or 6 plants I have no room for instead of a dozen or so.

4. But here's one I can keep - to sing and dance more, even if it's done badly, to love and laugh more, even if it surprises people, and to enjoy the sweetness in every day. I resolve to remind the world that kindness shouldn't be random.

5.  That's it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thank You, Santa Mailman!

This huge seed catalog arrived a few days before Christmas and has been tempting me with giant, full color pictures of heirloom plants, many I've never heard of.

I want one of everything.

I thought these were cherries until I read that they're actually sweet tomatoes. I want them. Right. Now!

Love Easy

It's late and I should be in bed. But my mind is humming, words and phrases popping through the sleepy fog like prairie dogs in the Dakota sun. This year hasn't ended as I'd hoped and I wonder and worry about the future. I closed my classroom door each day imagining we were safe. I tell myself quietly to stop, to breathe, to seek peace. I force myself into mindless, repetitive dreams and fall asleep digging holes and wedding the garden.

Regardless of what the new year brings, some things never change. I will laugh often and love easy and will continue to believe, even when I shouldn't, that the world is a beautiful place.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Wisdom of Winter

I do not have a winter garden. No snow covers evergreens or drifts in small waves at my feet. The berries are gone, long devoured and those remaining hang wrinkled and small. My garden lies like the bleached bones of a whale, exposed and naked, stark branches and limbs jutting at odd angles against a pewter sky. But my garden doesn't care and neither do I.

She lays collapsed in a heap, spring innocence traded for the humid closeness of summer, stem and petal separated by only a touch. Autumn came slowly and she teased it into high color as only a woman can do. But winter tells a different ending, youth and beauty traded for cold slumber. Gone is the confident sweep of bright flower and alluring scent. No sweet pleasures lie hidden, masked by the modesty of leaf and vine.

She sinks slowly into the earth, her secrets laid bare and whispering. The softness of fresh growth dies at her green hips, round curves now angular and spare. I cover her with a blanket of mulch and say my goodbyes.

Heliopsis thrives in my three season garden.

I've linked this post to the Seasonal Celebrations at Garden's Eye View.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pruning Help Needed: Inquire Within

I'm taking a break from my Holiday Blogging Break to ask for help with a pruning problem. I have a very large 'Heritage' river birch that is planted too close to a large crepe myrtle. Planting large trees and shrubs too close is particular talent of mine. Yes, it's true: I am a garden genius!

Spring 2012

The branches on the left side of the river birch are growing more horizontally than the branches on the right. You can see the foliage of the crepe myrtle mingling with the river birch foliage in the top right hand section of the picture.

Spring 2012

When these were planted nine years ago I was eager to establish garden structure and create a pseudo privacy screen between myself and my too-close neighbors. I never dreamed they would grow so quickly!

Early Spring 2011

This picture is almost two years old but gives a great perspective on how tall the river birch is. It was planted to solve a problem with standing water created by an incompetent patio installer. It did an excellent job and is now massive.

These pictures were taken today and show how close the two trees really are. Removing the crepe myrtle isn't an option.

The vertical branch under the text is driving me crazy. Should I prune it? Ignore it? River birches tend to drop branches easily in storms and I worry that this entire branch will be ripped off in crazy weather, damaging the trunk. What should I do?