Lush Life

Gardens and Bridge 004It’s that lovely, lovely time of year when the gardens have begun sharing their blooms and are so pregnant with the promise of more, that life feels lush indeed. The slugs are tiny and the Japanese Beetles haven’t yet arrived. We’ve hosted a multitude of the dragonfly called “Widow Skimmer,” and Monarch Butterflies are fluttering around the gardens here and there. The succession of blooms, from peonies to irises and poppies, continues, and it’s hard to believe how much delight I derive from this always-surprising flow of color and texture year after year. A lifetime of gardening certainly keeps one reliably childlike!

Widow Skimmer

Widow Skimmer

Gardens, Bridge 061 Strom warning, gardens 180 Gardens, Bridge 062 Gardens, Bridge 093 Gardens, Bridge 137 Gardens, Bridge 129I’ve been checking my Baptisias every day; in addition to last year’s drought, they were devastated by Genista Broom Moths, usually found in Texas. The Baptisias have been my faithful garden anchors for 15 years with never a pest or disease and their suffering was especially distressing following the damage from the drought. So far, they’re egg and caterpillar-free.

Strom warning, gardens 024Along the trail (which we’re back to traveling, now that the new bridge has been completed), the wild honeysuckles’ heady perfumes have given way to phlox and wild roses. The garlic mustard is back with a vengeance, but I’ve learned to keep it out of my own gardens by harvesting and blending it in salads: The best way to defeat your enemies may be to make them your friends, but I’ve discovered that eating them also works, at least in this case.

Strom warning, gardens 211 Gardens, Bridge 051 Gardens, Bridge 139Phillip’s vegetable garden is planted, and daily watering is calling forth shoots and tendrils that make me dream of beans and tomatoes and all things delicious. We enjoyed a huge asparagus yield this spring, and the gooseberries, raspberries, and cherries are equally plentiful this year; within a few weeks, their fruits will be converted into our summer energy as well.

Gardens, Bridge 143 Gardens, Bridge 145Little Murphy had a visit to the vet last week, and Clancy needed a visit the week before, so we’re grateful for our wonderful veterinarian and happy that the prescribed medicine is helping both heal from their diagnosed (minor) problems.

Tulips, Birds, 4-Leggeds 078 Cats, Gardens 039Phillip completed another school year and is remodeling a kitchen for a colleague this month. He received a lovely letter from an appreciative parent, not a common occurrence these days, and so, dearly valued for the encouragement offered.

Gardens, Bridge 116Next Monday, I’ll celebrate my 58th birthday, and I’m scheduled for surgery on the 21st, so posts will be slow in coming for a while, but I’m hopeful the gardens will remain healthy and enhance my own healing.

Every so often, we reach these mysterious intersections of time and place that offer perfect peace, contentment, and comfort. Moments of enchantment that can last for days. Our hearts seem to say, “I know this place; it is my home.” I’m finally able to listen to my heart and detect, name, and cherish such times, which wasn’t always the case, and I know they will transmute into new days of discontent, discomfort, and less beauty. Their transitory “now-ness” makes them all the more precious. The river of time will continue to flow and carry my little “life boat” along to new adventures, times, and places…and some will feel, again, like home.

Gardens, Bridge 028So I drink deeply and promise myself, again, that this time, I’ll keep this holy peace in my heart and carry it forward to the next “now-ness.” Whatever surprising flow of color and texture is offered, may our spirits rest in peace.

Cats, Gardens 099

Gardens, Bridge 055Namaste, my friends.

A Parent’s Letter:

Phillip,
Just wanted to take a minute to thank you for all that you have done over the years in teaching my kids. When someone asks, “Who is a good teacher in our town?” I think of you. Thank you for always putting up with my texts and in-person visits. Thank you for being patient with my son over the years and helping him out as much as you have. I am truly glad that he had a teacher like you who was willing to work with him so that he could graduate. I’m sure there were times that he shouldn’t have, but thank you for making sure he did. Best of luck to you in the next years of teaching…

 

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16 thoughts on “Lush Life

  1. Oh my…..I don’t know where to start in terms of a comment. First things first….poppies and iris are my favourite flowers, and yours are utterly beautiful. Your garden is alive and glowing and I just WISH I could stroll around it, it’s magical as you say at this point in time, and I know exactly how that magic captures and grips the soul.

    Is that actually a real butterfly on the poppy? is so, how do you capture such an awesome pic?????

    I’m so glad all is well with the Murphy and Clancy….I got kind of lost in those tawny eyes….Awwwww…bless their little cotton socks!

    Now….you have a wonderful birthday, and a drink on me, and may all go well with your surgery. I don’t know what the operation is for but I send you healing and good vibes for a complete recovery.

    How lovely that Philip had such a fantastic letter, he must be good because people don’t tend to respond like that anymore!

    And finally, I wish I could walk through that delightful magical arch in your last pic! AND ….don’t you dare stay away from posting for too long……I would miss you dreadfully. I always look forward to your posts, they are always such a treat for me. You look after you, and come back soon. Love and hugs to you and yours. xxxxxxxxxx

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and good wishes, Snow Bird; I appreciate them very much! I wish you could walk the trail and gardens with me, too…maybe some day, you and your husband will travel to the northern states???

      That’s a Monarch butterfly and I have to follow them around the yard and through the gardens till I catch them lingering…probably look silly, but no one can see me this time of year, anyway! 🙂

      I’m having surgery on my left foot and it’s a complex procedure, so I’m a little anxious, but have a week to get still and focus on my healing. I guess i’ll be wearing a hideous boot for about 6-8 weeks, but I’d rather get it done now so I can bike in the fall and ski/snowshoe in the winter. Our weather will be pretty hot and muggy very soon.

      The gardens are magical, you’re right, and next week, or so, they’ll be even more so, for me, because the fireflies will visit!

      Peace to your week and thank you, again, for your encouragement and kindness.

      • Ahhhh….I shall be thinking of you and your poor foot. I hope it all goes well.

        Fireflies you say? FIREFLIES???????? OH MY!!!! That certainly is something. I’ve NEVER seen them….goodness, what a treat!!!! Oh I hope to visit one fine day……sighs…. xxxx

        • Thanks; appreciated: send good thoughts to the surgeon! 🙂

          Oh, baby, do we have fireflies; the ladies shake their tail-lights near the earth and then men fly about till they find a partner…for a few hours, beginning at dusk…there’s always one who lingers last and I wonder what his problem is? Is he excessively homely, for a firefly? Have bad breath? Poor wattage??? Always feel sorry for him.

  2. Kitty, your garden looks lush and gorgeous – it must make your heart sing to see it thrive so beautifully after last year’s drought. I have dragonflies like yours, but I didn’t know they were called “widow skimmers” – how appropriate! I know what you mean about those moments of perfect peace and contentment; we had a day like that last week and I spent every moment of it outside, treasuring its ephemeral beauty.

    Glad the furry ones are OK; I hope you are OK as well and I’ll send a few prayers your way for your operation. Wonderful note for Phillip – it is always gratifying to know that someone appreciates what teachers do. And finally, happy birthday! Have a wonderful wonderful day.

    • Thank you, thank you, Lynn. It’s great to hear you’re having these lovely days, too…any day in the garden feels like a soul-shower for me.

      Yes, our sweet 4-leggeds are doing well, which greatly boosts the joy-factor. 🙂

      I’m so happy Phillip’s authentic love for his students is recognized…I still have the notes I received, because they meant so much when times were more challenging.

      I appreciate your well-wishes and blessing for my surgery…and thank you for the birthday wishes, too!

      Peace to your week.

  3. It is always a pleasure to have a look aroundin your beautiful garden, and yet there is always something new to gaze upon, if only a new perspective of something we’ve seen. And today’s post is so very beautiful, and only marred by the news that you are soon to go to the hospital. Wishing you a successful operation and a speedy recovery. Your dear animal friends are a delight to see. And my best wishes to Phillip. It is so important to have a bit of a rest from the teaching year, during which one can recharge the batteries, and learn new things that will later be shared with the students. And above all, a happy birthday to you. May the coming year bring you health and happiness and continuous learning.

    • Thank you, Shimon, especially for the birthday wish that I “keep learning,” the finest gift you could offer. I appreciate your kind wishes for Phillip, too. He is a very special soul, that’s for sure! peace to your week and know that I’m enjoying your photographs very much…

      • Thank you, Kitty for liking my photographs… I have to add one more thing… The title of this post is ‘lush life’ and that is the name of an album I like very much, by John Coltrane. I don’t know whether we share the same taste in music… but your pictures would go well with the music from that album.

        • Yes…you’re the only one who mentioned that…I “borrowed” my title from Billy Strayhorn. John Coltrane’s version is lovely…love that album!

  4. Oh my….this was a very hard post for me to read this time around. I didn’t want to see the pictures 😦 We are into our third week of down pours day after day after day. The garden plants I spent two and a half months growing under lights are just about dead and yellow in the garden now. Only one lupin and two spiderworts blooming period the end. It is dismal outside and I don’t even go out as it is so depressing to witness. Especially since the rain is always accompanied by chemtrails. They sure don’t want us growing our own food anymore. So far this is the summer that never was. Last year you had drought, this year we have floods…I long for the planet to be in homeostasis again…..BTW, what kind of camera do you use? Must be a pretty high powered zoom….Great post as always my friend. Thanks for sharing and I hope the babies are feeling better again….Blessings…VK

  5. Oh, VK, that’s discouraging, I know…maybe the weather will turn. Still early. We’d been missing our rain, but received a heavy shower last night…hang in there and know I’ll be sending peaceful energy your way…

    My camera is a Fujifilm Finepix; HS 30 (EXR) Not very expensive and a good thing, because she gets hauled everywhere and knocked around a good bit.

    Thanks for visiting, and I’ll hope for your sunshine and some aridity!

  6. Gorgeous pictures that feed the soul, Kitty. I wish you success in your upcoming surgery. With the lovely world around you and best wishes from family and friends, I am sure that you will recover quickly. 😉

    • Thank you, Malou; how kind of you! I appreciate your visits, your comments, and your good wishes: thrice blessed! Joy and peace to your week…

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