Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Garden

Our neighbor up there was working in his garden a few weeks ago at the same time we were, and he came to the fence and handed me a sprinkling of seeds. They looked a bit like poppy seeds. I planted them in a circle. I don't know, it seemed like the thing to do at the time. A little wreath of goodwill sprouted up shortly thereafter.

They were radishes, and I was told that I would have to cull out some to make sure the best ones got big. I couldn't bear to thin them out, I guess because I liked looking at that perfect ring. So we got all sizes of radishes. I like them that way.

We planted a whole bunch of stuff, but not in rows, so now I don't know what anything is now. I figured at the time that if an animal saw nice neat rows of things growing, they might come on up and start munching. But if I kind of planted stuff all willy nilly, keeping some loose rules in mind about what likes to be next to what, we might be able to slip some by the deer and rabbits. I even went so far as to toss a whole sack of bulbs into the air and plant them where they landed. Our gardening technique is a source of great amusement to our neighbor. He is an encyclopedia of rules and parables about how a garden works. I gave him a handful of Soissons, big white beans I bought from a producer, at the market. They were dried eating beans, and I was hoping they would sprout. We both planted some, and my neighbor's are growing much more handsomely. I still have faith that one day this summer we'll shell some beans.

There are millions of wildflowers, everywhere. Looking out over the pasture that goes down into the valley from out the kitchen door, you can stop there for a minute and try and take it in. Keep still except maybe drying your hands in a dish towel, and watch for a bird at the feeder. Wait for every part of you to come outside into the sun. Start thinking about just what the field looks like. You'll see that the pasture is actually a palette of hundreds of colors, a sea of color, not just green. These colors are in so many gradations, and dabbed all about. The spots are literally thousands of wild blossoms splayed out in natural patches. That's when you'll take notice of the hum of the bees like they've just started, even though they've been out there all along. Stroll on out into it, go around plucking wild flowers, and have a pitcher full in a matter of 5 minutes. The reason why it will take so long is that nine times out of ten you have to wait for a bee to finish a particularly pretty flower you've chosen before you can pick it. Of course you want to be choosy, the pitcher is a small one.

Labels: ,


Blogger Martha said...

How beautiful is spring?

1:28 PM, May 14, 2009  
Blogger SmitoniusAndSonata said...

May in the Andalucian hills is the same with wild lupins , tiny iris and lavender . You have to make the most of it because within six weeks everything but the oleander is brown and crisp !

5:14 PM, May 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful as usual. Thanks for sharing.

2:53 AM, May 15, 2009  
Blogger Madeleine Vedel said...

gorgeous photos, and lovely ideas. Inspiring, thank you! - Madeleine

12:05 PM, May 15, 2009  
Anonymous Wendy said...

Lucy, your bouquet is so much more lovley than anything from a florist's shop! Funny, I just started planting a wildflower garden at one of the cottages where I work. I've started with coneflowers, lupins and yarrow and will gradually add more.
I love using pitchers as vases, they are my favourite vessels!
Happy springtime gardening!

5:14 PM, May 15, 2009  
Blogger peevish said...

So very happy-looking, those radishes & flowers. I like the bokeh, too! Here it is Lilac season, everywhere you look.

4:35 AM, May 17, 2009  
Anonymous june2 said...

This is a great way of planting, that you're describing! What a great idea to be so natural. Also, there is an interesting book along these lines called, The One Straw Revolution, by Fukuoka from Japan. I like this idea of yours very much.

8:44 AM, May 17, 2009  
Blogger Patricia said...

Beautiful photos - very inspiring - thanks!

2:44 PM, May 17, 2009  
Blogger Eileen said...

I love seeing photos of vegetable gardens... especially French vegetable gardens! Hope there will be more pictures to follow throughout the summer. Please come and see mine!

3:25 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Kevin said...


"These colors are in so many gradations, and dabbed all about. The spots are literally thousands of wild blossoms splayed out in natural patches."

This is why the impresionists so-loved southern France - it's a landscape made for bold brushes.

7:39 PM, May 23, 2009  

Post a Comment

<< Home