The best ways for me to find enjoyment in late summer’s neglected garden, is not in hacking away in disgust or to yank and pull or sweat and swear – though I do admit to a bit of that mingled with my worst complaints…
- “That’s right let me go out of town and you decide to run wild!’
- ‘ Choking out your companion plant is as coarse and common as talking religion or politics!’ or…
- ‘Okay, really? Staging a hostile takeover in this heat? What’s gotten into you?’
Now, as amusing as it is- to talk to our plants this way…it doesn’t work, the damage has already been done! Faced with difficult and mundane jobs like pulling weeds, I enjoy taking a stroll, framing a view, documenting with a few photographs, thinking of my best words, waxing poetic even humming the sweetest melody, in fact- it surprises me that I usually don’t do these things first! But when I do…
I find crisp cool ferns, an unusual view through an errant Mimosa,
Hydrangeas, this time several on the wane and one amazing fresh green one made even more beautiful in a hazy light.
Views through a garden bench, beauty entwining itself up and around wherever it may find the opportunity…
Soft and sweet Lamb’s Ears and an iron bird hiding in rampant rose canes and even Autumn Joy beginning to bloom.
Now, normally I don’t use words like verdant in the course of everyday conversation- but the word did come to mind… ‘Verdant means- Abundant, green vegetation, lush green lawns or rich forestation.’ Weeds or not- that’s what we have!
Still. Verdant was one of the good words… followed by Decent, Fresh, Trustworthy, Wholesome, Bighearted, Devotion, Wholehearted, Loving and Kind.
My good words were followed by Phrases like- Cool and calm, Soft and tender, Milk of Human Kindness, A sweet embrace… Try it! Good words and gentle phrases usually bring forth the Poetic!
‘Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms…So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle Gently entwined. Oh, how I love thee! How I dote on thee!’ from A Midsummer’s Nights’ Dream-
Or what about these?‘In life’s uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do them.’ Timon of Athens and ‘Beauty lives with kindness.’ Two Gentlemen of Virona – and a personal favorite…
‘To me, fair friend, you never can be old.’ Sonnet 14 All by the poet emeritus of good words….Shakespeare
It was time…The gazing at pictures, the doodling, dawdling and daydreaming had to stop or nothing would get done. I must admit, my greatest gardening challenge became one of my sweetest musings…
The Angel Vine had become rampant squalling baby – crying out for immediate attention. A pair of water meter readers couldn’t even find the meter since the Angel Vine had completely covered it over… fiercely verdant? Perhaps not a good phrase… I pulled it back to show them where it was…and decided I could amuse myself no longer. I began pulling and outright hacking and cutting…. and then it happened again…Ah yes, a song… a lullaby… okay really I thought of Willie Nelson’s ‘Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground’ about an angel with a broken wing that Willie fell in love with, that was my first thought. Kept in check, Angel Vine is such a sweet planting…tiny brown vines dotted with tiny green leaves. Angel Vine is a native of New Zealand also known as ‘Mattress Vine’ … so yes, as overgrown as it was- eventually a Lullaby came to mind. May I pause here? I’ll admit it- at first a gardening song starts as an annoying hum…I can’t put words to the tune… but when I do? I am amazed at how perfectly it does fit the situation. Angels, mattresses for cradles and little children…came to mind. The neighborhood is quieter now….children have gone back to school when I’m at my gardening chores…. I began thinking of the times I sent my first graders off to school- it never got easier, I always cried and prayed….counting on these beautiful and promising words for children-
‘Become as little trusting loving children. Whoever receives and welcomes one little child is greatest in the Kingdom of heaven… and also welcomes Me. But whoever causes one of these little ones to stumble, whoever entices him or hinders a child’s progress from right thought and conduct… Anyone who causes suffering to a little child- a millstone should be hung around his neck and be thrown in the depths of the sea… Beware that you do not despise or demean one of these little ones… See that you do not offend one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven are always in the presence of and earnestly watch the face of My Father’…’Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to Me.’
Stern warnings concerning treatment of children from the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of St. Matthew. So yes, pulling back that Angel Vine I thought of Guardian Angels…prayers for all little children-the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
I found myself humming an old Welsh lullaby …Sleep my child let peace attend thee, all through the night. Guardian Angels will defend thee, all through the night.’
All the while thinking of angels. The pile of trimmings was quite large, I wound the Angel Vine into a verdant wreath and hung it’s delicate form on the Front Door knowing it would stay fresh for only a few short days. My Late Summer’s Verdant Walks, like childhood- don’t last long, but the memories will be cherished a long while.
Love y’all, Camellia
*All photographs are obviously mine. *The Scripture is from Matthew 18- my interpretation- alongside the Amplified Version of the KJV *Please don’t get any grand ideas that I’m an expert on memorizing Shakespeare! It’s a trick I employ to try to match up my ‘best’ words with poets or quotes from famous folks! *’All Through the Night- a Welsh lullaby is generally sung around the Christmas holidays- but so beautiful I couldn’t resist. I found no author credited for the song.