Bzzzz October 27th, 2013

I went out this morn­ing for my daily run/walk. I say “run/walk.” I used to say “run.” Now I say “run/walk.” It’s really “walk.” I am still in denial about the whole knee pain situation.

Any­way, I digress.

I went out this morn­ing for my daily run/walk. Most days I lis­ten to books via Audi­ble on my iPhone while I run/walk because a good book with a com­pelling sto­ry­line and a tal­ented reader who keeps me hang­ing on every word makes me want to keep run/walking so I don’t have to go inside and work/work. It’s a fab­u­lous way to procrastinate/procrastinate and still feel a wee bit vir­tu­ous. I’m read­ing and exer­cis­ing! In fact, I am pretty much on track to fin­ish 100 Kin­dle, tra­di­tional and audio­books this year as part of my Goodreads goal.

fall in the potager

Lemon grass and pineap­ple sage salvia in the potager — October

This morn­ing I had to fum­ble a bit before get­ting Audi­ble up and run­ning. (Thank you iOS 7 for mak­ing me add a pass­word.) While I was mash­ing vir­tual but­tons on the minus­cule screen with­out ben­e­fit of my read­ing glasses, I ran/walked sev­eral yards, not look­ing at the first thing except that tiny screen.

Sud­denly it hit me. Smoke. Specif­i­cally, wood smoke from someone’s fireplace.

Now, I’m not big into fire­places with smoke because of sen­si­tive sinuses and a strong ten­dency to get painful sinus infec­tions when exposed to smoke of any sort. But small doses of out­side smoke from some­one else’s fire­place a half mile away is rather nice. It says, “Fall!” It says, “Time to reflect and slow down.” It says, “Drink some hot choco­late and take a nap!”

It’s a smell with dozens of asso­ci­a­tions from child­hood and from the hap­pi­est (and a few sad) times of my life. That smell was accom­pa­nied by the nature music of my feet brush­ing aside the fallen leaves as I walked up the driveway.

Slow down!” I said to myself. (But don’t stop running/walking!)

I put away the iPhone and looked at the mosaic of colors—red, yel­low, brown, green and every color of fall, punc­tu­ated by the occa­sional, fear­less rose, salvia and celosia.

celosia cock's comb

Celosia–commonly called cock’s comb–in the potager

If I could bot­tle up that fan­tas­ti­cal com­bi­na­tion of smell, sound, fresh air, color—and the rush of the run/walk—I would be richer than Oprah.

Alas, no one has fig­ured out how to cap­ture the magic of Mother Nature, although artists, pho­tog­ra­phers, musi­cians and per­fumers still try.

But I am still rich. I am rich because I can appre­ci­ate the gifts Mother Nature hands out for free to any­one will­ing to pause in their run/walk through life and appre­ci­ate it.

Namaste.

 

 

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Bzzzz August 14th, 2013

As I was brows­ing around over on Pin­ter­est this morn­ing, I was impressed with some of the solu­tions gar­den­ers found to com­mon gar­den­ing problems—organizing gar­den tools and sup­plies, pro­tect­ing and sup­port­ing plants, label­ing plants, nur­tur­ing and dec­o­rat­ing. I have also seen some fab­u­lous, clever and cheap gar­den solu­tions from gar­den tours in recent years, so I thought I would pull them out of the archives and share.

I have noticed that gar­den­ers are quite thrifty in uti­liz­ing and repur­pos­ing avail­able mate­ri­als. Twigs, sticks and vines can be used to sup­port plants, as trel­lises and even just for decor.

stick trellis or plant support

Sticks and vines clus­tered and tied to a cen­ter bam­boo stake make a dec­o­ra­tive and func­tional plant support

A series of larger sticks can be pushed into the ground for peas, sweet­peas and other plants that could use a bit of extra sup­port. One year we used branches from mimosa trees that had blown down in a storm to cre­ate a cucum­ber trellis.

sticks used as pea stakes

Sticks can also be pushed into the ground to cre­ate ver­ti­cal sup­ports for peas, sweet­peas and other plants that need support.

mimosa tree branches for trellis

Tree branches sal­vaged after a storm were used in our gar­den to cre­ate a rus­tic cucum­ber trellis.

If you need to block off a path or area to dis­cour­age foot traf­fic, a col­lec­tion of sal­vaged branches can accom­plish the same thing.

Salvaged branches assembled to block a pathway

Sal­vaged branches assem­bled to block a pathway

Unusual mate­ri­als can also be repur­posed in the gar­den for many pur­poses. I have often seen marine-grade rope draped to cre­ate attrac­tive sup­ports for trail­ing roses and vines.

marine rope for roses

Marine-grade rope can be used to sup­port trail­ing roses and vines.

How about repur­pos­ing sand­bags? They can be used to cre­ate tem­po­rary walls, gar­den seat­ing or raised beds.

raised beds from sand bags

Sand­bags can be used to cre­ate tem­po­rary and mov­able raised beds.

Tree stumps can be unsightly and expen­sive to remove. If it’s large enough, a tree stump can be repur­posed as a nov­elty gar­den seat, table or planter pedestal.

tree stump seat

A tree stump doesn’t have to be an unsightly eye­sore in the gar­den. Re-imagine it as a gar­den chair!

Aren’t gar­den­ers won­der­fully cre­ative and clever?

You can fol­low my board of gar­den solu­tions over on Pinterest.

 

 

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