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.