This year marks my first attempt at gardening in my little backyard. Full disclosure - this garden consists of one 2x4 raised planting bed, a 2x4 shallow in-ground bed, and a grass yard bordered by Ferns, Nasturtium, Jasmine, Blackberry, Honeysuckle, Camellia, and Weeping Cherry Blossom.
Of the plants I started from seed or starts this year, what I've been able to keep alive is:
- Dusty Miller
- Columbine (though no flowers this year)
- Shirley Poppies (a handful)
- A trained Azalea
- A few varieties of succulents
Two things that I planted that have not fared so well - Abutilon and Hibiscus.
I hand water everything in the garden, so when I go away for a string of days I usually come back to a depressing, withered mess. As a new gardener, what's been fun and gratifying to discover is that as long as not too much time (more than a week) has gone by without tending to my plants, if I put in a good half hour of weeding, pruning back dead leaves, de-snailing, and heavy watering, the next day I come home to happy, turgid plants. Yay!
And that, my friends, is how I think gardeners and plant people gain that enviable green thumb. They pay attention to their plants. Some plants tolerate neglect better than others (kind of like people!), but I think (just as with people) you literally reap what you sow when it comes to your garden friends.
And Greg, well, he takes great care of me. With him home in NJ for the next two weeks, my dinner tonight comprised of a whole basket of salted blistered padron peppers and a whole heirloom tomato, sliced and salted as well. Yum!
After dinner I spent some time in the back yard, watching the smoky clouds pass by overheard. Today marks a new moon, which is supposed to be a good time to meditate on things you want to begin. The days right after a new moon are full of a pure, renewing energy, according to an astrologist I took a 101 class with last weekend. I've always been sold on the fact that the cyclical pattern of planetary motion, the seasons, and life and death in the wild is not an accident. I haven't, however, ever really spent much time digging into the specific energies attributed to each planet in the study of Astrology. As icky as this sounds, I feel like Astrology is 'trending' right now. But I don't really think that's a bad thing. I mean, objectively, doesn't it make sense that we would be affected in some way by the planets swirling around us?
On an NPR segment I listened to last summer, astronomer Jill Tarter had this to say about our relationship to the cosmos:
"We are made out of stardust. The iron in the hemoglobin molecules in the blood in your right hand came from a star that blew up 8 billion years ago. The iron in your left hand came from another star. We are the laws of chemistry and physics as they have played out here on Earth and we are now learning that planets are as common as stars."
Um, Jill - you had me at stardust. And with that, I'm going to tuck myself in bed. Goodnight!