Friday, May 9, 2008


After the Rain

A few days ago, we had a rain-filled day.  One of those ground-soaking, steady pouring rain days, and you could see the earth soaking up its fill.  Just as evening was coming on, the clouds broke and brought glorious golden light to the wet landscape.  
                                                      "Aw, shucks."
                                     Rhododendron blooms.                                           Rhodie close-up.                       The clematis are bursting out.                           Sun-dappled evening in the garden.
                                             Rosebud raindrops.                                   Thomas Affleck after the rain.                                     A tribute to the Great State.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The New Old Green

In the Psalms when we are instructed to "sing a new song", it doesn't mean that we are to sing something in a way that's never been done before, but to sing anew of the long faithfulness and glory of our God.  Likewise, being Green really isn't something that's new, either.  Being Green - or whatever you want to call it - is pretty old.  In fact, it goes all the way back to the Beginning.
As you might guess, one of my favorite verses is Psalm 24:1-2  "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers."  The earth is His.  Period.  The trees, the hills, the snails and fireflies, cattle and birds, flowers and rocks.  All His.  In the beginning, after He had created man, who is also His, Genesis tells us, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it."  (Gen. 2:15)  So, you see, being Green is nothing new, for it was God who made the earth and all that is in it, pronounced it "good", and gave Adam a mandate to work and keep it.  
As I've explored these ideas and begun experimenting with how I can work and keep my own garden in God's green earth, I've begun to understand more of what it means to truly tend that garden - to cause it to prosper while doing it no harm.  To give to it so that it may give to me...that I may work in the garden,  and "walk with God in the evening."  To that end, I've been conducting what I'm calling "The Grand Experiment."  Because we no longer keep several horses (just one horse, one pony, and a goat) we can now use the pastures to grow hay.  It's a fun thought knowing that I won't have to buy a lick of hay this year.

We have also begun veggie gardening again, and have put in several raised beds.  These photos are a week old, and already the garden is more leafy.  We've got onions, carrots, lettuces, spinach, broccoli, peas, melons, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins.  There are a few herbs in the beds, but I've put most of them in the flower gardens instead of filling those beds up with annuals.  
Recently I went with friends to GroWild Nursery in Fairview for their really fun annual open house.  It's a fabulous nursery that deals only in native plants, and it was enlightening to see how they had used them in their own beds - beautifully informal, natural, and comfortable.  Not formally structured, and yet very beautiful.  Why not use native plants?  Duh.

This is our rain barrel set-up.  It's a 55-gallon barrel, but 1/4 inch of rain from the gutter system will fill it.  Note the overflow spout.  The overflow will pour out of the spout down into the tub, freshening the water for the dogs and cats.
     The pea tendrils are so delicate and so tenacious.
This is my newly-built garden house, but I'm not sure that's what I'll call it.  Potting shed?  Garden shed?  Garden cottage?  Help!  Any suggestions?  I just love it and think it's too pretty to just be a "shed."  Can't you see the roses and clematis on the arch once they begin to grow, and roses climbing the little house someday?
The green bean seedlings are growing fast and getting ready to climb their tower.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

American Ruins

A handful of miles outside of Port Gibson, down a sunken road that winds through dark woods, you will suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, spy the Windsor Ruins.  Built prior to The War, this home was not actually a victim of the war, but of fire.  It's impressive array of columns still stand sentinel to the grandeur that was once Windsor Plantation.
  Gilbert and his blue balloon play amidst the columns.
While the adults gaze up at massive things, Gilbert spies the small things.
                                             A column base.                           Patrick wants the blue balloon.
                         Silent majestic sentinels.
                                        Kristin and Patrick.
                                                A floral crown.
                                   Sunset's shadows beckon.