Monday, June 9, 2008

The Garden

Every night now, after my kidlets are tucked into their sweaty little beds and I've cleaned up the remnants of our dinner and day, I roll out my wheelbarrow and get my shovel and head down to garden "downstairs".

Our yard is divided into two sections: the "up" part and the "down" part.

The up part is where the house is. The house is built on ledge, on one side there is actual ledge exposed, about 12 feet of it separating the up and down yards, and as the actual ledge tapers off it merges into an old, stone wall which supports the upper part of our yard, which is largely cultivated and gardens and lawn and all those swing set and sandbox areas, as well as our house. The tree house is built so that you walk in on the up part, and it overhangs the down part, so when you look down from the tree house, it is about 10 feet down to the ground, which is the down part of our yard.

The down part is down by the road. There is a huge hemlock tree that shades half of it, and there are a half dozen rather large glacial erratics which are super for climbing, and the other half is wild and meadowy. It sometimes looks dreamy in its meadowy state, but other times whilst plowing through the dense, slivery grasses with briars mixed in, slicing your legs and feet, it feels less dreamy.

Since I moved into the house, I have dreamed of turning the down part into my little shangri la of a garden. It has so much potential with the huge rocks, beautiful exposed ledge, shaded areas, and sunny parts. And this year... as I have, for the first time, no newborn (or lack of newborn) and I am not pregnant... I am doing it! It is so satisfying, and I am just loving it. It is a perfect example to me of how you have to just chip away at things, little by little, and eventually you begin to make progress. Every night I have been trying to clear about 10-20 square feet of earth. During the day I separate out perennials from the "up" part and put them into pots and then into the wheelbarrow. Then, when night falls, I bring the plants down and plant them. If the things die, it's no problem, as they were just excess from the "up" gardens anyhow. It feels creative and productive and it makes me exhausted and now, when I drive up to my house, I actually feel like I can see that I have made a dent in it.

While I am gardening, I usually think about Charlotte. I don't know why. I always think about her when I am mowing the lawn, too. I think it is perhaps because I am in an almost meditative state, just plowing through the earth with my hands, my mind is free, other responsibilites have been set aside for this time, this hour to myself while the sun sets, and I use it for her.

Another nice thing about my garden.

1 comment:

Sara said...

I find gardening meditative too. I can spend hours in my garden without realizing it. I even got "lost" in our garden as a kid, sitting in one of the rows, blissfully unaware of my mother searching for me frantically.

For Henry's birthday, we were given a Henry's Garden sign made by his cousins. It has a heart on it covered in white pebbles and his hand burned into the wood. Currently it's still sitting in my dining room, but will soon go up in the new perennial bed I'm slowly establishing.

My aunt has a Henry's garden too. For my baby shower, we had wildflower seeds as a favor. While Henry was in the hospital, my aunt emailed me to say that she called that area Henry's garden and that when she worked in that area she felt like she was tending to him. She's decided to keep that section always as Henry's garden.