The Weekly Gardener 1

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Peaceful Garden

The Round Year

Sedum

The year is round. This becomes evident even to the distracted onlooker sometimes in August when the garden comes full circle with the production of seed and then starts to mellow out in anticipation of winter.

It is weird to think of winter when temperatures are approaching the top of the range, but I always do, because nature calls it in its own ineffable way, there is something about the way the light changes, the shift in the color saturation of the maturing foliage, the scent of the wind. This end of season announcement is made even more disconcerting by the fact that, at least in this climate, it is followed by two more months of warm weather.

During nature's endless circular motion the small, slow cycles of plant life tie into the larger cycles of the world, and then of the stars, and then of the cosmos, and it's all cycles within cycles all the way out.

It takes patience and wisdom to get used to growing in place while the universe moves around you in circles, but it builds constancy and a sense of belonging to life, instead of passing through it.

Anyway, now that nature's message reached my doorstep, I'm already planning next year's plantings in my head without even wanting to, like some sort of nesting instinct, only garden related. Catalogs started showing up in the mail and I saw lilies. I must have lilies. And daffodils. And tulips. And hyacinths.

Today is perfect, with bright sunshine, fragrant hostas and balmy temperatures caressed by the breeze; the plants are heavy with harvest and just looking at them makes me happy. The approach of winter used to make me sad, but not anymore. With it comes the gift of another year, also round.

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Noisy Summer Afternoon

White Hosta

I went outside to enjoy the peace and quiet of a summer afternoon, but I'm out of luck. Between the cicadas, the birds, the cars, the planes flying overhead and the squirrels dropping walnuts from the branches above on top of my head, it's noise central out here.

Nature is rarely quiet. It sometimes happens in winter, when it snows at dusk, or during the stillness before a thunderstorm, or during rare events that alter the normal course of things, like an eclipse, for instance, but during regular hours, forget about it.

Every now and then a gust of wind shuffles the leaves of the trees and stirs up all sorts of small creatures hiding in the branches. For a moment the noise intensifies.

I guess I'll enjoy my nature with noise, thank you. Just hold the walnuts. You wouldn't believe the noise those make when they fall on the deck, they sound like popping champagne corks.