Thursday, December 04, 2003


Part of gardening is looking. It must be something within my genes, certainly it isn't normal, but I am perfectly happy to watch plants, their texture, what they are saying (I need water, I'm asleep till spring, I need more sun, Feed me,).

Plants differ because of sun and soil and moisture. So this watching is important to tending them.

I used to be diligent in cutting down died out plants in fall. I worked at tidying the garden up. I don't do that any more.

Now I leave the dried stalks standing. Once snow falls, I want to still be able to see something of my garden. I don't want a flat white yard. I want variety in heights, in frame. Give the birds that hang around in the winter something to land on.

In early spring, I will clean up the organic matter, composting or throwing away all the relics of this year's garden.

This morning was the first time that I've had in several days to just look at my garden. There is a certain neat isolation of the garden at this point, long past the flurry of activity in spring and summer, long past the colors of autumn. With an entire garden in this stage, perhaps it is like a giant bouquet that has been dried and preserved, for memory's sake.

But it also gives me an opportunity to see what needs to be done, where I can make changes, thin out and divide plants, add new ones. Without the distraction of lush green, or glittering blooms, or even the dances of bees and butterflies, I see my garden as it is, within its boundaries, and I imagine what it might be next year.

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