Sunday, September 14, 2008


This photo is the spring garden.

I have planted, over the years, Iris, Tulips, Larkspur, and a number of flowering perennial plants whose names I forgot long ago. Now in early Autumn, the vines are full of berries, as is the Mulberry. Here and there are old clumps of mint in various flavors, most have bolted. Soon, the color will be extravagantly red.

I wish I were more the May Sarton type who used her garden well. The Iris beds bordering the front walk have become an embarrassment--too crowed. They have started to invade the little patch of lawn. If I were the May Sarton type I would dig them up every fall and spread those tubers around. Then I would have glorious bursts of fragrant, deep purple, tall, velvety Iris germanica throughout. But no, I'm not that type of gardener. Same with the Tulips in their many varieties and colors. I have some very fancy tulips. But my reason for planting so many bulbs and tubers was to eventually have the busts of seasonal color without the back breaking work.

Another type of gardener I'd like to become again, is a gardener like Colette's mother. If memory serves me well, the book or story I read long ago is called "Sido" or "Sidonie." I ran across it in an English translation in a small bookstore in Milan. It was early winter 1965. That was also when I read Henry Miller and Anais Nin too. But Sido was my favorite literary gardener, and I think I'm rather more her type. Never wanting to leave home, and claiming it's the needs of my garden that keep me here. Even so, Sido was certainly more attentive to the actual needs of her garden. (It was also the only non-fiction written by Colette I ever ran across. But with a writer like Colette, I'm rather sure most of her fiction is written from memory.)

I read when I'm depressed. I tackle reading as if it were a full time job. I have been known to read two or three novels in a day. Mind you, that's full time reading. Now I need that focus to lavish on my garden. I'll be sore from actually doing any physical labor. It will be good for me.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Utah. I love the garden in its different stages. New and fresh in the spring. Little surprises pushing through the soil.

And then in the summer, as things burst full of life and fruit and the bees give sound to the garden.

Then there's now - we are bad to let the garden go. It's a mess of weeds, a tangle of morning glories and overgrown vines. The landscape is dotted with volunteer plants. Tomatoes, cosmos, zinnias and marigolds.

The minimalist in me likes the garden best in winter. It's monotone and stripped down to seed pods and dried flower heads.

I plant things too close together, too. I tell myself that it keeps the weeds from growing too much. It's probably some deep-seeded need for closeness, though.

Utah Savage said...

What a lovely comment my dear.

Vigilante said...

All I do in my back yard is clip the roses and scoop the poop. So, I admire a green thumb!

DivaJood said...

Lovely garden. There is something mystical about a garden, something healing.

Posted some beefcake at my place last night - seems Carlos did great for my Cubbies.

Unconventional Conventionist said...

Our garden is totally winding down. I'm making tomato preserves as I write this actually. Gotta get those suckers before it frosts (any day now I think.)

anita said...

when i first moved to this house, the irises bloomed madly. this year, however, they barely bloomed because they were so overcrowded in their beds. SO what i did this weekend was cut down all the dying green stuff and my plan for next weekend (or the weekend after that) is to get down on my hands and knees and pull out all those bunched-up bulbs and plant them in a new place. irises are my favorite flower, by the way.

on a different topic, and perhaps you might have an opinion on this ... i was thinking this morning that two of my favored female characters in literature were madame bovary and sister carrie. the interesting thing about both of them was that they were entirely self-focused. both of them lacked compassion. but i do not fault them for that. it was a survival instinct that drove them. i could go on ... but it's late and i guess i just missed the rachel maddow show (which is turning out to be quite good, by the way).

Utah Savage said...

Anita I've missed you. That is exactly what I need to do with my Iris. And yes, I share your passion for the Iris. Iris and Halls Honeysuckle. And fancy tulips. I'll take pictures and share them with you is you keep coming back. I keep checking your old blogs that I have still on my blog roll. I just won't give up until I can find you in the blogosphere. You can be alone and still be with us.

Utah Savage said...

And Madame Bovary is high on my list of all time best books. I think Flaubert was a genius to have created her. I've read the book many times.