This journal -- the antecedent to the blog -- gets its start from a
decision to dig up all the grass in our yard and plant flowers,
perennials, ground cover, shrubs, a small tree or two, berry bushes,
vegetables. My first title for it, I remember now, was "The Amateur." I
am fond of the word's Latin roots -- it means "lover." I'm not trained,
I'm not a professional, I just began digging things up and planting. To
be an amateur means to do something not for money, but for love. Five
summers later, I am still an amateur, but the place has blossomed. I
loved the development stage; now I'm working on management, maintenance
-- skills that require patience. I like doing things, trying things, and
seeing what happens. I experiment, I learn from experience (or try to).
I love to see things growing. I love the idea that when we step
outdoors, we are in nature. The "environment" begins at the doorstep.
Open the door; breathe the air; listen. Today a cardinal sat on the head
of a sunflower, bobbing and calling, looking for all the world as if he
had just lost something. I noticed he ate a few sunflower seeds too.
There is always something to see. Here's the "interests" list:
My cousin Audrey Berg cuts some of her peony blossoms and sets them in bud vases. Then she arranges vases across a kitchen window. Sunlight backlights the flowers, and through the window we see the garden, her garden, in which the glorious peonies grew. The result is more original than a Martha Stewart design and flat-out gorgeous.
Audrey posts the photo on Facebook; it’s about the second post in a year I’ve seen from her. It looks fantastastic. Meanwhile our white peonies have blossomed in their heavy, round white-sun globular way, they are suns with their own corollas, but the weight of the blossoms is way too much for the branches, especially when multiple flowers crowd the edge of the branch. Their beauty weighs down the bush, the blossoms bend over to the ground. Some actually reach it.
What to do? I don’t have some sort of wire shrub trellis for holding up downsloping blossoms. It’s time to cut some flowers.
I cut them with the house scissors and bring them in, but our bud vases don’t work for many of these bouncy balls of white energized plant flesh. I try some of the more standardized vase sizes, including the “Grecian Urn” (the inscribed image of a sheath-clad nymph runs among the flowers) that came originally from Grandma Mildred, and eventually come up with enough settings for the flowers that sort of work.
Here’s a photo, below.
It seems to me it’s all right to borrow other people’s ideas. “Cultural borrowing” is how civilization grows. You just have to borrow the good ones.