hardly ever, in fact

“If you really want to draw close to your garden, you must remember first of all that you are dealing with a being that lives and dies; like the human body, with its poor flesh, its illnesses at times repugnant. One must not always see it dressed up for a ball, manicured and immaculate.”

~ Fernand Lequenne, Botanist

Not always dressed up?  I think my garden is like me, hardly ever dressed up.  A bit flopsy and curly and often barefoot with dirt under its fingernails.  Wild and needing a little guidance now and then, but also pretty sturdy and independent.  Sometimes downright ingenious, if not naturally decorative or careful in the midst of the creative process.  Possibly with flour smeared down the front of her dark-colored tee-shirt, going around completely unaware (as I did for hours yesterday), but stirring up smiles and leaving nourishment in her wake.

Apropos decoration, I realized the other day I haven’t worn makeup in so long I’d probably be at a loss to know how to wield the blush brush now.

Fortunately, this thought came to me while I was staring in the bathroom mirror, with freckled cheeks ruddied by the fierce autumn winds now swirling over the garden.  So I didn’t feel the loss so much.

But I would like to do better at creating a more decorative appearance, for the Victory Garden next year and for myself overall.

I think it might be difficult to do the kinds of things I’m dreaming of for the garden until I have a more settled location.  Because of the nature of the ph.D. process, we’re not even sure we’ll be here for the growing season next year, which makes it a waste of energy to invest much in meandering paths and garden rooms and features like walls or large-scale trellisses.   Even stepping stones feel a bit too settled.

The only thing in stone in my garden is this lovely plaque with a Tibetan garden mantra on it.  It’s supposed to encourage everything to grow — and from all of the evidence this year, it works very well.  For most of the season, it was nearly obscured by the overhanging leaves of the two Ichiban eggplants on either side of it and the huge nasturtium growing in front of it.  F. gave it to me for my birthday in June.

He knows me so well.

And even so, he doesn’t seem to mind that I don’t go for the decorative thing.  His response the one and only time he’s seen me with makeup on:

“What did you do to your face?”

Well, at least I can take comfort in the fact that he knows me at least as well as I know my garden, and doesn’t expect me to be “always […] dressed up for a ball, manicured and immaculate.”  Hardly ever, in fact.

2 Responses to “hardly ever, in fact”

  1. Once in a while I delight in doing the girlie thing, but most days I’m in jeans and loving it. And while it’s nice to see those beautifully manicured gardens every once in a while, it’s lots more fun to explore the ones that have hidden treasures. Have a fabulous weekend, Meredith.

  2. The way you are is why I like your blog – and Talon’s. Wonderful women who love nature just as it comes.

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