UPDATE from last week:
Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Pickles! Remember when I shared my recipe for sweet refrigerator pickles? Well, if you had started them at that time you would be enjoying wonderful sweet pickles right now!
I have enough ripe cucumbers for a second batch (after I get more canning jars). I'll put up as many as I can, since my family loves them, but I won't have nearly enough for the winter.
UPDATE #2: My Cherry liqueur is coming along nicely. I think. My actual alcoholic expertise is limited to a Guinness or two after yard work and an occasional weekend cooler. (My mother in law and I used to 'sip' some sangria while working in the garden. My husband rolled his eyes and called it giggle gardening. He's no fun.)
Is it supposed to smell like cherry flavored paint thinner?
Here is an interesting vision of a Garden by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
If I could put my woods in song
And tell what's there enjoyed,
All men would to my gardens throng,
And leave the cities void.
In my plot no tulips blow,--
Snow-loving pines and oaks instead;
And rank the savage maples grow
From Spring's faint flush to Autumn red.
My garden is a forest ledge
Which older forests bound;
The banks slope down to the blue lake-edge,
Then plunge to depths profound.
Here once the Deluge ploughed,
Laid the terraces, one by one;
Ebbing later whence it flowed,
They bleach and dry in the sun.
The sowers made haste to depart,--
The wind and the birds which sowed it;
Not for fame, nor by rules of art,
Planted these, and tempests flowed it.
Waters that wash my garden-side
Play not in Nature's lawful web,
They heed not moon or solar tide,--
Five years elapse from flood to ebb.
Hither hasted, in old time, Jove,
And every god,--none did refuse;
And be sure at last came Love,
And after Love, the Muse.
Keen ears can catch a syllable,
As if one spake to another,
In the hemlocks tall, untamable,
And what the whispering grasses smother.
Æolian harps in the pine
Ring with the song of the Fates;
Infant Bacchus in the vine,--
Far distant yet his chorus waits.
Canst thou copy in verse one chime
Of the wood-bell's peal and cry,
Write in a book the morning's prime,
Or match with words that tender sky?
Wonderful verse of the gods,
Of one import, of varied tone;
They chant the bliss of their abodes
To man imprisoned in his own.
Ever the words of the gods resound;
But the porches of man's ear
Seldom in this low life's round
Are unsealed, that he may hear.
Wandering voices in the air
And murmurs in the wold
Speak what I cannot declare,
Yet cannot all withhold.
When the shadow fell on the lake,
The whirlwind in ripples wrote
Air-bells of fortune that shine and break,
And omens above thought.
But the meanings cleave to the lake,
Cannot be carried in book or urn;
Go thy ways now, come later back,
On waves and hedges still they burn.
These the fates of men forecast,
Of better men than live to-day;
If who can read them comes at last
He will spell in the sculpture,'Stay.'
In early spring my Iceberg rose bushes were solid white. Unfortunately, my camera and I were still on the outs at the time, so I have no pictures to prove it. I debated whether or not to leave the rose hips, and opted to deadhead and maximize the rebloom. After cleaning up, I finally got a few pictures.
What do you see when you look at this picture? Myself, I find that the three stages of roses reminded me of, "Maiden, Mother, & Crone."
That particular trinity means different things to different people - goddess triad, phases of the moon, realms of the world - but to my eyes, it is a memoir.
I remember the intensity of youth, the striving, the incessant need to move forward. To what, I was not always sure, but I knew I had to keep moving.
Then came motherhood, equal parts insecurity and satisfaction. To be honest with you, it's all quite a blur. Don't get me wrong, I have many wonderful memories of those years. But for the most part, it mixes together like the colors of an impressionist painting - all working together to create a thing of beauty. My kids are relatively well adjusted, so I must have done something right.
And here I am, Crone at last. I always expected that, like Dylan Thomas urged his father, I would rage against the coming sunset. But, no. I find myself embracing the calming time, and willingly following the path as it spreads out in front of me.
New experiences, new understandings, new friends, all collude to draw me forward once again.
I still don't know where the path is taking me, but I'm okay with that.
My therapy. My inspiration.
My therapy. My inspiration.
These lantana are under my lavender crepe myrtle. (there are five of them) They share the same homeland (Australia) with the tree, so I figured they would play nice. I love the fiery colors and they are starting to fill in nicely.
My Jade tree was badly burned this winter even though I had it covered. It's quite old and has survived a lot, but the usual precautions weren't successful this time. I have been coddling it and it is coming back quite well. However, I hope to have a place to move it permanently inside before winter. It is much too large to be moving in and out.
This little sweetheart (whose name I can't recall) is tucked in among the rocks beneath my rosemary bush.
I have these hens and chicks, larger than the span of my splayed fingers, both in the rock garden around the rosemary and in a pot with other succulents.
This is actually a bright pink laundry basket that I've drilled for drainage, and it contains a motley assortment of succulents.
These are my avocado trees, started on my windowsill. Yup. There are two of them in the pot. I'm trying apply some bonsai techniques to keep them manageable. (The two sixty footers I see every day out my front window lead me to believe it's going to be a futile endeavor.) They were a bit peeked at first, but they seem to have rallied.
There are so many things I want to do in the garden, but you know how it is. Money, time, and ability are never up to optimum levels. I'd like to turn a couple of our old windows (replaced last year) into small cold frames. I could use a truck load of mulch. I want to get rid of the grass, make some paths, . . . and on and on . . .
Until I am able to get around to all the ideas racing around in my head, my garden journal will keep them safe.