the cool of the evening

June 22, 2012

It’s been very busy in the garden, so much that we have got behind blogging. On Tuesday I was working in the garden for 5 hours in the morning and another hour or so in the evening. I’d just finished fertilizing, and the fireflies were flicking on and off as the fairy lights began to come on, and I was overwhelmed with the garden-ness of everything.

And for a minute I felt I could see the place through M’s eyes, and I thought how proud he would be of the garden and how far it has come, and of me for all the work I’ve done and all the things I’ve done that I didn’t know how to do. None of the garden would be there if he hadn’t begun it and seen in it what it could be, before I could see anything, when I thought nothing would grow.

M died a few weeks after he’d planted the grape vine and the 2008 tomato seedlings. It’s a miracle that I picked up the gardening at all; it was so grievous to go out there, to his space. I have my father to thank for spurring me to do it that first summer. Just before he left town after the funeral weeks, he turned to me in that advice-giving-father way and told me to keep the garden. Gardening was good for the soul, he said. I don’t believe my father has ever gardened in his life, but he knew this was true and he impressed it on me. He was right. Thanks, Dad.

The garden wouldn’t be what it is without the help of friends, for example the gurus at Crest–who make getting and trying new things so easy, who dispense advice on tap, who love their plants and yet are relaxed and realistic about endeavors, whose constant creative experiments cheer me up and give me new ideas, who build me up by enjoying the successes in my garden, and who are wonderful friends over the wall all year round.

The garden also thanks John and Mary, my friends from England, who have a spectacular English garden of their own that I can only dream about. They built the grape arbor one winter, and they did all the heavy work on the renovation of the center perennial garden two Septembers ago. There have been so many helpers, weeders, diggers when my elbow was fractured, waterers, harvesters, advice givers, appreciators–I can’t name them all here, but thank you.

In the cool of the evening, watering done, fireflies and fairy lights popping on, I always think of God walking in the garden with Adam and Eve, that ancient and only time we walked freely with him before everything went wrong.

2 Responses to “the cool of the evening”

  1. poopsie said

    love you, my poopsie and your pretty garden and prettiest heart.

  2. moc4 said

    Couldn’t have said it any better than my sister there. Love you tons. So sweet to see all this, and especially to hear of that great advice from Dad. He always knows what’s up.

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