Saturday, July 28, 2007

Some lilies to consider

Consider the lilies, how they toil not and neither do they spin, yet King Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as fine as these...

I'm toiling slightly at work, and found this blog with lilies that will help illustrate that verse.
(Be sure to scroll down until you see the pictures, although the list of lily names is pretty cool too.)

What a visual feast.
(And a cat at the end to boot.)

The blogger is a Master Gardener; something I had considered becoming at one point in my life when I had over 300 varieties of plants in my garden. Master Gardening is a program where you study for about a year, and do a lot of volunteer work too. After that, Master Gardeners go around creating gardens that are amazing, and giving advice because they really do know all about soil and pests and blooming cycles and all that stuff.

I've thought about it for awhile, and decided what I really want now is a friend who is a Master Gardener. I want her to be available solve all my gardening problems, but mostly I just want to go hang out in her garden, sipping ice tea and wearing a wide brim hat, enjoying the fruit of all her hard work.

I want her to cut arm fulls of flowers for me to take home, bags of fresh picked vegetables, and slips of all her interesting plants for me to put into my garden.

You see, back in San Diego, when I had a garden with 300 kinds of plants, dozens of roses, every kind of mint known to man, camellias and violets, succulents and hundreds of bulbs, vegetables and herbs and a lathe house of ferns, I actually would invite my friends over for glasses of ice tea, and supplied them with big brimmed hats for strolling in the garden.
I would end the visit clipping huge bouquets for them to take home, along with fresh herbs and lettuce for salad, and a slip or seeds to try in their own garden.

Most of my friends had lawn. Maybe a pot or two of flowers by the back door. Maybe a struggling rose bush, or a few daisies clumping in the corner. They all thought my garden was amazing.

When I knew we would be moving in a year, I video taped my garden each week or so, so I could go visit my garden again in each season after we moved. On tape I can once again see the breezy poppies with a cat napping, roses unfurling, Jasmina billowing over the lathe house, the peach tree with peaches swelling to the size of soft balls, then the leaves turning golden, framed by the window of my weaving studio, through which I would watch golden sunsets. Bare grey branches that then sugared with pink blossoms...the peach tree alone would have marked the seasons in the season less environment of Southern California.

I dug and watered, planted and pruned. I asked for gardening soil for my birthday and Christmas to amend the sandy hard soil in our area. Bernie built the hard scape of bricks, I reclaimed area by area until a walk in the garden was a ramble worthy of a guide.

I loved it.
It was a lot of work.
Only another gardener can appreciate how hard it is to make a garden beautiful

I have books written by gardeners from many centuries. I'm sure if I could resurrect them all, and dress them in modern clothes, they would immediately launch into gardening discussions, and it would be difficult to discern what era they had gardened in.

Texas gardening baffles me though. Heavy clay soil is unwelcoming, the heat and bugs repel me. I've gone on a few garden tours, and for the most part I am underwhelmed after my experience on the coast. Here I plant a few pots, and one bed. The rest of my garden gets just an occasional plant tucked in from time to time, with just a swift shovelling in and a "good luck" wish for care.

Do I miss gardening as I did in San Diego?
A little.
If I was to return, I would do as one San Diego Master Gardener did.
She bought property, built a solid wall around the garden six feet high.
Then she had all the soil hauled out of her yard, scraped the dirt down 18 inches. Then refilled the yard with the most excellent soil she could buy, a full 24 inches of it.
She had the walk ways put in, and watering system.

After that, she planted her garden.
And what a garden it was.

I from time to time see it in gardening magazines, and smile, having seen the slide show of how the garden was created from beginning to end.

Yes I want garden again.
But I'd rather have a gardening friend who would share her garden with me.
I'd even be willing to come help from time to time, and to fully appreciate what gifts she was giving me when she clipped a flower for my pleasure, or harvested bounty for my table.
Those gifts are more than what I would carry, those gifts are time and money, sweat and sore backs, broken nails, and inspiration.
A store bought flower is often thought to express love.
A flower from a garden is an expression of one's life pour out in love.

Right now, I'm thinking I would really rather be a Master Naturalist.
They study for a year, and volunteer to lead walks through the forests and streams, around lakes and the sea shore.

They stop and point out birds, and plants, insects and reptiles.
"Oh look! A blue tailed skink!"
"A hermit crab hiding in sea lettuce!"
"The dragon fly verses a damsel fly: Let me show you the difference.."

SOOOOO much less heavy lifting.
SOOOOO much easier on the check book.
SOOOOO few problems to address (ever actually gone into your garden and not pulled at least one weed? Thought not!)

I'm thinking of Mrs. Snodgrass again, my old Bluebird leader.
I am sure she didn't have a garden.
Yet she share with me a garden called "Everywhere I Go."
I see it everytime I see a wild flower in bloom

So there you have it.
That's what I'm thinking about doing.
Finding a friend who is a Master Gardener, and *maybe* becoming a Master Naturalist.


(If you didn't have a chance earlier, and you happen to like daffodils, check her side bar to daffodils. Heck, check her side bar everything. I would PAY money to be her friend!)


Lovella said...

I certainly have an appreciation for an invitation to a friends house and then a walk about.

There is something about being invited for tea and upon arrival seeing that the lawn is freshly mowed and the weeds are in control. As though they did it just for me.

When you become a master naturalist, I shall sign up for a tour, it sounds just so inviting.

The lilies were just beautiful.

Julie said...

I don't have a green thumb but I truly admire and appreciate any one who does! - especially if they want to be my friend!
I was sorry not to see some photos from your old garden....your description of it sounded so beautiful!
As was the lily link....I had no idea there were sooooooo many varieties of lilies!!

Gotta Garden said...

I hope you'll forgive me for being late to the party! Thank you for linking to my blog and your most kind words! I fear you would be disappointed if you actually saw it in person, lol! Especially after reading about yours! I'm fascinated by your blog...I knew/know exactly zero about millinery, so this is a whole new world for me! I had the biggest laugh over the library email(s)! What a stitch!

And the spiders! Last night, I opened the upstairs sliding door to let my dogs out and was nose to nose with this huge striped one! Egads! One inch further and he would have been on my nose! In retrospect, I suppose he was equally upset as he quickly retreated up and away...I do wonder if they are trying to catch us when they string their webs across a doorway at head height!

That White Linen! What fun that looked like! Well, I'm sure I've yakked on quite enough...but, I'll have to come back and see what you're up to! Love reading about your family, too!