One of our sage plants flowered for the first time just the other day. Very delicate, lovely little purple blossoms than smell faintly of fresh sage. I put in some water and enjoyed a tasty glass of sweet sage elixir. It was like drinking a cup of summer sunshine.
Monthly Archives: April 2013
The feral garden can be a place of disappointment and difficulty, therefore living in it, and alongside it, is a learning experience. But sometimes, when I’m very alert and very lucky, this wild and unmanicured place gives me secret surprises. As the undomesticated mixes with the civilized, this outdoor world reflects my inner landscape, becoming home to both the contained and the uncontained. We are on a journey together, this garden and I. Digging in the earth is not so different from rooting around in one’s own heart and mind: you push down into the damp wetness to find a stubborn rock living there underground, a shard of bone left like a gift, or a decaying peanut buried and forgotten. Every object is sacred if you hold it up to the sun and squint with one eye.
The space between the containers is where the wildness really creeps in. Mostly I see what I don’t like: voracious iceplant, illmannered ivy, and uninvited creatures that steal our food. But I try to learn from what I don’t like. It is good advice in life to manage what you can manage and leave the rest up to the Gods. I try not to manage this space too much, keeping the role of watchful eye rather than constant gardener. Because sometimes in the inbetween place-the space between the containers- is the fertile soil of secret surprises.
My lettuce seedlings were devoured this winter, and I gave up planting more. Sometimes I get discouraged out here. But the garden knows when I get discouraged and sometimes it sends me a gift. I did not plant new lettuce seedlings this year, and yet look what’s growing in the inbetween place: a healthy, vibrant, almost fullgrown head. How did it get here? When did it appear?
I don’t know, but the lettuce knows.
I’m going to go ahead and call the Shopping Bag Planter experiment a rousing success. The swiss chard has performed remarkably well in the bag, with the added convenience of being easy to move around the yard if the need arises. The bag holds in moisture very well and seems to be in the same good shape it was in last August when I first planted the chard. This type of planting would be good for balcony gardens and anyone who rents. The bags are easy to remove, bring indoors, or relocate to a new home.