Waiting for Springtime…
“Life is gorgeous in the garden.” Anonymous
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.”
“All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.”
Goodness! Come in from the cold, won’t you?! I’m glad you’re here. How would you like your tea today? Maybe with a slice of lemon? Or, a little taste of honey? There’s ‘Japanese Cherry’ flavoured green tea brewing in the pot. It is delightful on its own merits and one of my favourites. I hope you like it, too. It’s ready to be poured. Hmmm…It has a subtle, sweet aroma. I hope this ‘cuppa’ warms your spirit…
The snow didn’t come until late January this year. We normally have three long months of winter by then. People say we’ve been lucky. It’s like we escaped the wrath of Narnia’s ‘Ice Queen’ (a.k.a. The White Witch) or something. Well, it seems she found us and we’re well making up for it in this month! (Don’t you love ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe?” C.S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia).
About this time of year, I start to get the winter blues. I especially feel it this year. Last spring and summer passed me by altogether while I was having cancer treatments. Whenever I start feeling the winter doldrums, I reach for my gardening books. They are never far from reach at any time of year. For hours at a time, I pore over and over their pretty pages of inspiration and begin to visualize, in my own garden, the spot each new flower will call home, and where another will be relocated to a new address. Before too long, the ‘winter blues’ turn into the ‘winter pinks’! Planning a garden is the best medicine for just about anything. Dreaming of days in the garden transports me to warmer, sunnier times ahead. I can almost hear the birdsong…
“When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.” ~Author Unknown
MY GARDEN IS MY SANCTUARY: A PLACE TO PUTTER, PLANT, PONDER, RELAX, REFLECT, REMINISCE, READ, WRITE, DREAM…A PLACE WHERE I CAN JUST BE.
“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.” ~Emma Goldman
Last season, I didn’t get in the garden at all. ‘Chemo’ was brutal and I just didn’t have the wherewithal, although my heart was right there with my flowers. I wondered if they missed me.
My dear neighbour, Joanne, shares my love of gardening. She unabashedly proclaims to the world that she especially loves weeding – can you imagine that?! She assured me early on in my treatments, taking my arm in hers, that she would tend to my garden while I could not. She brightly announced that she had even organized an entire tag team of ‘garden gals’ who would help care for it.
A smiley and enthusiastic group of four, they call themselves the ‘Thursday night craft girls’. One of the girls, I’d never even met. Rain or shine, they’d come to my garden, unlatch the gate and let themselves in amongst the blooms, like little sprites, to happily weed and water from June until August. I hardly ever saw them but I always knew when they had been there. Some days, as if by magic, a pretty new annual would appear amongst the perennials along with an inspirational note! What a beautiful thing!
“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.” ~Winnie the Pooh
At the end of the gardening season heading into the fall, and as I was starting to regain my strength and my interest in ‘real life’ pursuits again, I decided to make a romantic garden basket for each of my new ‘garden gal pals’. It would be a means to say a small, yet huge-hearted, “Thank You”.
The baskets held floral themed one-cup teapots and companion cups with cute garden sayings written on them, herbal tea sachets, pretty paper napkins, bird-embroidered tea towels, tiny seed packets and convenient garden journals.
Filling the baskets was the closest thing to gardening that I’d be able to manage for one season. I carried them to Joanne’s house across the street. She was happy to present them to the garden girls at the next Thursday night crafters’ gathering. Days later, they would phone from their evening meeting to express their enthusiasm over their garden ‘lovegifts’. As thrilled as they were to receive the baskets, I think I may have been even more thrilled to give them to repay in some small way what they had done for my garden and for me. I think they may have underestimated what a profound effect their caring and supportive gesture would have on my soul…
“The best fertilizer is the gardener’s shadow.” ~Author Unknown
In the fall of 2010, at a November reception at City Hall (that I was unable to attend), we were acknowledged by our City for our summer gardenscape. Before ‘the announcement letter’ had arrived in our mailbox, it came as a surprise to hear from several friends and co-workers that our garden had been mentioned on radio and in the newspaper! A keepsake framed plaque with a photo inset of our garden would be later delivered to our door. How lovely!
On the August day back when the judges came to see the garden, many of the most spectacular blooms had already been long spent, the roof was being re-shingled, the fence repainted and a new walkway was about to be installed. With all the construction going on, the garden was an unruly mess! And to top it all off, I was recovering from a nasty chemotherapy treatment that I’d had a few days prior and was too sick to even haul myself off the sofa and greet the judges, let alone show them around the garden. Talk about unfortunate timing! They saw fit nevertheless to bestow a ‘Honourable Mention’ upon our little plot of paradise. And we are truly honoured by the gesture.
As any gardener will attest, a garden is constantly evolving, purposely as well as naturally. Here are some pics of last summer’s garden…
“You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.” ~Author Unknown
“All gardeners live in beautiful places, because they make them so.”
– Joseph Joubert
Thank you, my lovelies for coming by! I hope we’ll see each other again very soon. Be cozy and remember…
“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.” ~Proverb
“One kind word can warm three winter months.” ~Japanese Proverb
“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
~ Hans Christian Andersen