A morning game of chess with Lev Yaakov, almost 8, his Dad Joaquin and Grandpa David (Papa D) cozy and cool in our little shelter as the hot weather finally wanes.
It’s early Autumn and a gardener’s thoughts turn to refining her garden! I contemplate what is merrily working and what is not, that can be redesigned. Too much sun on some plants, too little on others, it takes incessant tweaking to keep the evolving balance of the garden. The magnificent maple in the NE corner is shading too many dahlias so the showing is meager this season. Do I move the dahlias or trim the tree? Another option occurs to me. These dahlias have been in the ground for over a decade so I will let them die back, separate their overcrowded bulbs, give some away and move the rest to a sunnier, more aerated spot. One of many keepers is the lovely Callicarpa 'beautyberry' harbinger of Autumn with it's striking purple berries.
Recently my Portland family moved in for about 10 days! Here are two garden scenes that showcase the everyday joy. Planting a Sarcococca 'confusa' Sweetbox in the ultra shady area beneath the lilac tree was aided by Esther Rivkah, almost 4, and eager to dig, water and assist in any way. Sarcacocca is an evergreen bush that promises fragrant flowers in late winter to sweeten the sometimes dreary season.
Again it’s the perennial moment, hearing passers-by stepping on filbert shells as they walk on 20th Ave, crunching the left-overs from a squirrel picnic. As I get older some of these reminders come ’round more often and I work at accepting the passage of time and celebrating the benefits as opposed to wasting my precious days, disappointed that my youth is long over. Who would have thought?! When we were young, it just felt like we’d stay that energetic and lithe forever. Natures’s lesson with a twinkle in her eye and joke on us! Still there’s wisdom, a different rhythm, gratefulness and acceptance in being older. We know what we love and are more discerning. Happily my garden sanctuary continues to be part of my landscape!
Pictured here is an earlier summer bed of Achillea 'moonshine' Yarrow, Penstemon & Jupiter's Beard (Red Valerian).
This garden at the coast was a refuge by-the-sea during the inland heat where we reveled in cloudy days, jackets and sweaters, while counting our refreshed blessings.