I’ve been on a sort-of break from work in an attempt to unwind from a year of madness, although so far most of my break has been spent painting, framing art, and doing the work of making this place feel like a home. Our move-in was thrust right in the middle of writing my third book, which at the time meant setting things up as best we could and then getting back to it quickly.
We are not minimalists. We’ve collected an assortment of strange things over the years, and I find comfort and inspiration when I am surrounded by those things. I am visually oriented — my eyes need to dance around a room. I hate plain walls.
Unfortunately, my neck and shoulder is acting up (again), which says to me that it is time to take this whole down time thing more seriously. No more trying to attempt to take a break. I need to take a real break. For REAL!
On that note, I leave you with a selection of garden pics. I’ll be back posting regularly when my neck/shoulder/arm permits it.
Since moving in, Davin has been taking morning cellphone photos of the yard. We’ve compiled shots taken between January and June into a quick timelapse movie that mark the changes thus far.
The last shot is dated for two days ago. We have since done even more work and you will notice when I update next that the ramshackle shed has been “decorated.” The images do not show the container garden on the porch, a tiny square raised bed, a thin shade garden, and the wall of succulents.
You can watch the video at a larger size and without the black bars around it on Flickr.
I came upon this gorgeous Passiflora trifasciata on my first day in Thailand and was completely floored by it. I had no idea that such a gem existed. The leaves look like big bird feet!
Passiflora is known primarily for its gorgeous flowers and deliciously exotic fruit. The leaves have a nice shape, but I find them to be a bit boring overall. I had never seen one before this that is clearly all about the foliage. When given a choice, I tend to favour foliage over flowers. Flowers come and go, but interesting foliage holds your interest almost indefinitely, depending on the plant (and your climate). Being short on space, I prefer to keep plants that give me something to look at for longer periods of time. Ugly, ragged stages of plant development don’t hide well when there is no behind-the-scenes area in which to hide them.
Of course, being a plantoholic through and through, I want one. Immediately. I figure if I can tolerate the inconvenience required to overwinter a very large passionfruit vine with pretty flowers but boring leaves in the hallway outside the door of a cramped apartment for three years running, then surely I can keep this one now that I’ve got more space.
And yet another door is opened. Over the weekend I was chatting with a fellow gardener and thrifting friend about how you can find interest in certain collectibles, but you stay away from buying even one because you don’t want to open the floodgates to a new obsession. It’s okay to admire that jug, bowl, or plant from a distance with a certain amount of interested detachment, but inviting one into your home and life is a dangerous first step towards an appearance on the show Hoarders.
Having more space and an evolving mindset has unleashed the Kraken inside of me, so-to-speak. There are so many plants that I am either going back to with a renewed passion, or am allowing myself to try for the first time ever. Friends, these are interesting, albeit dangerous times.
First up I need to clarify the meaning of the last post. A lot of people thought I was talking about gardening hardship, when I was actually talking about work deadlines. I was REALLY tired and not too with it when I wrote that post. Please excuse my lack of clarity.
Hardening off (back and forth forever) is certainly a pain in the butt, especially now that the kitchen floor is covered in trays and we can barely open the fridge door. However, my complaints were about NOT being able to garden rather than being overwrought by the work I have before me. Sitting at my desk and plugging away at a computer when there is a backyard out there that needs to be transformed into a garden is a certain kind of torture.
All I want to be do is garden!
But this is life as an adult so moving on….
It rained a lot this weekend, but I was out there anyway. It was my first weekend off (sort-of. Not really. But mostly.) since Xmas and I decided ahead of time that I was going to take full advantage rain or shine.
We got very wet and I’m suffering for it now, but at least the garden is starting to look like slightly more than an anthropological dig or an uprooted burial site on a television crime drama. Now it looks like a mud wrestling pit!
This week, as I take some of my strongest and largest seedlings and older transplants through the hardening off stage (acclimating them to outdoor life), it occurs to me that this process is a lot like that line in the Miranda July film, “Me and You And Everyone We Know.”
Back and forth, forever.
Or maybe it’s the exhaustion talking. It also pretty much sums up where I am with deadlines, and I don’t think it is too far a stretch to imply that these are very poop-filled times. Very poop-ified times, indeed.
On a brighter note and continuing in the theme of poop, an enormous cube of composted duck manure has been sitting in front of our house for weeks waiting to be moved into the garden. It gets a lot of stares from the neighbours when they walk by. Maybe the shifting will start to happen this weekend. Maybe.
Back soon(ish). Or when I am a human again and not just a productivity machine. Or never. Or tomorrow.