walnut on the sidewalk - thetemensojournal.com

What A Garden Can Be

That first spring here there was little more than Lily of the Valley, now a thriving river of greens runs along the house, and in the front grows Oregano, French Tarragon, and Chives with that trio of coneflowers, Nasturtiums, Snapdragons, and Tonka trucks.

Out in the back upon that stone stoop, purple velvet pillow stained with walnuts welcomes me to rest me weary arse, after a long day, to sit and sip a cool glass of lemonade, back resting against the safety of the local yellow limestone brick wall.

So, actually, Black Walnut trees are supposed to be rather rare, yet that tree is not on its own in the village, and I suspect this may have been an old Walnut Grove, at one time, cause they are everywhere. Also, the name of the village starts with ‘wort’, and that word is used to refer to plants that are medicinal or nourishing.

And underneath only those plants that are attracted to its juglan thrive, as many others just discolour, wilt, and die. Well and if ya don’t mind squirrel spit bombs shards of walnut husks on your head all summer long, all in all it does cast that healing sort of light of an old gathering tree.

bunny ears on the brick wall - thetemenosjournal.comMany have been lost, gardens that is.

Like my old velvet rabbit in Towers when I was young, often have I cried myself to sleep. And the next morning, with empty arms, I gloomily wander to the kitchen table for breakfast, and by afternoon, and all the rest of the days that follow I mope. Each of my little gardens I have loved, and are now etched inside me like that lost bunny was.

Though, back then, I imagined myself draggin’ that stinky rabbit around everywhere. Sort of having now a flash of being at a job interview, with an eau-d-fusty-wabbit wafting up from my purse.

I guess some things one leaves behind are best left where you lost them.

To leave behind, move past, and not let the loss of one mire the next, and forget to enjoy it, and miss all the other gifts, beyond just ones own joy.

Even from the beginning, the idea of sharing beauty was what I had in mind, and bringing a touch of that thing gardens bring to this cruel world, and maybe selfishly, really, for me alone, to spread that joy around like Dandelion seeds in the breeze.

Other gardens have been left behind, going way back to the helium days of the 90’s and that first sunny wasteland my ex and I had bought, where only the Rose of Sharon’s thrived.

And, I can’t forget that lonely patio garden at that other Lake I lived by, way up in the sky, and I did try, but everything always just died.

Next, on the shores of Irish Lake, that charming cottage one got under my fingernails, created a decade before by other hands, though with another mother’s death was left in a decline. Yet, it was there I first added that Hobbitshireesque woodland touch I’ve grown to love, and all the stories that a garden could tell; but again death crept in, again.

And after this, there’ll be another, a pocket, a pasture, or just a patio, somewhere, some other place, someday.

hostas at my feet - thetemenosjournal.com

In dappled light stepping-stones appear in the afternoon, and walnut bits litter the sidewalk underneath my bare feet, a concrete path, an aisle of cedar to one side, my chapel in the woods, a sanctuary, cut off, secluded. A door for faerie, perhaps, tempting them to dance along the woody tendrils of the Virginia Creeper, among the leaves, with lots of places to hide.

Now, understand, it’s not like I put a shingle out “WELCOME ALL OF THE FEY FOLK”, no, rather, I just believe and they say that is all you need in order to see them.

irish at the garden door - thetemenosjournal.com

This garden is beginning to tell new stories, you know, as many hands now work the dirt and have added their own sweat equity, making this old farmhouse once again a home.

One of the neighbours is a carpenter and puts together old pieces of this and that, upcycling them into something new.

After the old tenant came back and dragged away her raised beds, a hole was left, at first. But now it’s filled with things the tenant upstairs has created, and so you can often find him working away out front, with his dog, and Rupi gets a sniff and a howl or two in hello to neighbours coming to and fro.

{I think Rupi may have some coonhound in her}

Irish pipes up, and ha-woo ha-woo from the back, and hawoo hawoo from the front, and we have a chorus begun, till I intervene, and with one word I’ve opened the screen door and pointed in, to the cool air, have a drink, and shut up.

So a couple months ago, after D3 had left and Sue and I had divvied up his Tonka toy truck collection, I placed my two out front in the bed with the White Coneflowers and Hosta’s, and a few days later a third appeared, and so now there is a collection.

The neighbour at the front, thankfully, completely took over the other side, that all sun all day southwest awful side that I never really liked, and so kind of ignored. Well, she had it ripped apart, right back to bare dirt, and put her touch upon the space, and those ditch lilies are gone, and she continues the garden around, like an embrace.

I’ve learned in my time that the eye likes to travel, along that rivulet of chartreuse of Creeping Jenny and brick wall underneath the elegant hostas rise and fall, offering some shade and habitat to all that this little space may attract, from butterflies and bees, toads, spiders, beetles, worms and such.

Above the many textures and shades of green the ferns appear, the ragged Ostrich plumes above the fray and a Woodland sort unfurled itself anew after its move, and pottery chards littered here and there create a little cooling shade, as a Lady dips her frilly fingertips in the pool by her side.

There an old broken sun still shines, and here the moon, with a rusty dragonfly above them all, all from a friend, and on the wall dangles the twisting stems of that Swedish Ivy I bought a couple years ago.

Last night, smoking one of my cylinders of sin, and the neighbours laughter traveled around the corner of the house and down the walk, drawn outside by the welcome cool night air, with the flicker of the candlelight the Coleus of rich red and gold enchants, and I realize that a garden can be for one and all, not just for me.

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