Alexander Averin

Monday 25 May 2009

Garden Musings

Dear Diary,

I am going to start and finish with a poem, I discovered both yesterday.

Try To Praise The Mutilated World
Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June's long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You've seen the refugees heading nowhere,
you've heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth's scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the grey feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

Adam Zagajewski

Just a few musings on the garden today. I can only muse as my back is still delicate. So I watch and muse and enjoy for there is much to make one feel good at this time of year. I shall ignore the weeds and pretend they are just plants in the wrong place…for now.

Each new day brings the gift of a new molehill in my garden and now they are popping up close to the bird/squirrel/pheasant feeding station. They have moved from the field across the river into the garden. The plus side is they leave heaps of gorgeous soil for my pots but I fear the velvety little creatures will be caught by my cat (or by my man!) but I secretly wish that they won’t be but rather they just stay a (short) while and then move on. They aren’t supposed to like Radio 1 (who does?) so I could play that by their homes or pile heaps of dog mess by their hills, they don’t like that either do they? (who does?).

Yesterday was sunny, very warm indeed, could it have been our summer for (so far) it is cooler and duller today.

So what has pleased me in my hours of pain?

Buttercups and daisies.

I love grass filled with daisies and whenever I see them I remember daisy chains that I used to make for my favourite daughter when she was a toddler.

Our field is filling with buttercups and when they are tall I shall bring some in and put out in vases.

I love also the buttercup-lined path up to the cottage and there is a similar bed by the path at the library too, both are such a cheerful, sunny, buttery yellow. It is a pity these plants are so over-exuberant and have to be restrained.

Bluebells. Need I say more? Armfuls of bluebells is a phrase that always comes to mind. I picked some yesterday for the cottage and also a few stems of my magic crab apple’s blossom.

Not only moles, there are Welsh poppies poppying up all over. I am particularly pleased because it took years to get them to grow and I didn’t succeed until a dear friend passed on some of the poppy seeds from her garden in Herefordshire.

There are verbascums popping up in odd places. Some may remember me posting a pic of one last year as a mystery plant that was luckily identified for me. I was told I may be lucky if it seeded itself and it has, what joy. Last year’s plant grew over eight feet in height and I had been told it would be about three feet. Everything in our garden grows to giant size proportions in height; it is very strange. Reminds me of the Findhorn Garden in Scotland. Could there be divas at work in our garden I wonder?

Foxgloves too are popping up, wild ones which I adore.

Columbines in varying colours are everywhere and they too are very tall.

Lavender and roses, ah roses still to come. And honeysuckle flowers and all the joys of June.

My much-loved red peonies are nearly out, they never fail me and remain really healthy. When I first moved here they were by the riverbank and I moved them to a bed near the cottage, something all the books said was not advisable but mine seemed to have thrived.

Our laburnum tree is in blossom now, everything is late up here in the hills. Our seasons are shorter which is a shame but I always pray that the plants will stay in flower longer and they do if we are blessed with an Indian summer.

I love the way the garden changes each year - trees get taller, climbers are higher, shrubs bigger and ground cover plants spread more widely. The course of the river alters too. quite drastically this time, after the flood last year.

And my neighbours have just given me some sweet pea plants so I shall be off to plant them in a big pot along with some of my home made compost and some lovely soil courtesy of Mr Mole.

And later I shall try and take a few photographs of my garden, that should not strain my back too much. And then I shall curl up with Anne Enright's Yesterday's Weather (apt title methinks), a volume of short stories and for someone like me who doesn't normally enjoy short stories this is writing to die for.

But before I go here is the second poem I discovered yesterday.

To My Friends

Dear friends, and here I say friends
In the broad sense of the word:
Wife, sister, associates, relatives,
Schoolmates of both sexes,
People seen only once
Or frequented all my life;
Provided that between us, for at least a moment,
A line has been stretched,
A well-defined bond.

I speak for you, companions of a crowded
Road, not without its difficulties,
And for you too, who have lost
Soul, courage, the desire to live;
Or no one, or someone, or perhaps only one person, or
Who are reading me: remember the time
Before the wax hardened,
When everyone was like a seal.
Each of us bears the imprint
Of a friend met along the way;
In each the trace of each.
For good or evil
In wisdom or in folly
Everyone stamped by everyone.

Now that the time crowds in
And the undertakings are finished,
To all of you the humble wish
That autumn will be long and mild.

Primo Levi

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Elizabethd said...

Your garden sounds lovely Cait, and the 'weeds' really are just plants in the wrong place, for the moment.
Our Laburnam is almost over, but what a joy it is every year, cascades of gold. Look forward to your photos.

GreenishLady said...

Oh, my new friend! How lovely to be introduced to your garden like this! It's evident yours is much-loved and well-looked after, and mine has been much neglected over the past couple of years. I'm thrilled to encounter a Welsh blogger - and a bit amazed at the synchronicity, having just decided on Wales as part of my summer plans! I'll be back!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I can just see your garden. It sounds so very lovely. I don't think I'll ever get used to seeing wild foxgloves as I do when I'm in the UK. Here we baby and nurse them along as garden plants, and are so tickled when they grace the flower beds. There, I saw them growing wild on every walk I took!! Hardly fair, methinks!!

I adore that first poem so much. It brought tears to my eyes.

Saying a prayer for your back, Cait!!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

hello Cait, hope the back is on the mend - lovely to hear about your garden - we are also well behind everybody else, high on a windy hill my peonies are still tight in their buds.

Kim said...

Hope your back is mending nicely. The weather's been lovely here, and much like you, I've been enjoying last season's labors. All of my lovely native perennials have popped up and are growing in nicely. There are a few that haven't shown their heads yet, but I am still hoping!

Pondside said...

That sounds heavenly, Cait. I wish I could see it with my eyes and not just with my imagination.
Our Laburnum isn't yet ready to bloom, but it's getting there. I look forward to it every year as it is such a splash of light against the dark trees.

Lane Mathias said...

Oh that photo. Is that really your cottage? Just glorious Cait. The whole post - all topped off with one of my favourite poems.

ds said...

Oh, this is lovely, Cait. Thank you! I am very jealous of your garden, as mine is confined to pots. Beautiful poems, also.

Chris Stovell said...

Oh, I've just caught up with this lovely blog- and the Paolo Nutini single - great song... and he's so easy on the eye as well!

CAMILLA said...

Hi Cait,

Your garden sounds an absolute picture. Love the combination of Roses mixed with Honeysuckle, this I have over the porch to the cottage Cait.

Love the Poems Cait, and the pictures, is that a Helen Allingham cottage picture the first one?