It was always meant to be a metaphor.
You see, my townhouse doesn’t exactly get the sun or the lack-of-sun to grow some of the types of flowers and plants in my yard *and* of course I have to abide by the rules of the HOA (insert eye roll because I’m now on the board after receiving a nastigram about the Pom-Pom aka Chinese juniper shrub appearing too whimsical when it was planted in my side yard. Yeah, yeah, yeah... it does actually look better in my backyard but I won't admit that to them.) Part of the front yard doesn’t receive any sun so a purple shamrock can grow there but that’s about it. I would love to have a Black Parrot tulip, Black Hollycock, Hyacinth Dark Dimension, or even those Black Magic elephant ears which I tried to grow from bulbs but they didn’t even sprout :-/ but I don’t have any of them… and I’m okay with that. Isn’t that why I have a Secret Garden Pinterest board?
|Pom Pom HOA trouble maker|
I actually love flowers and plants that are a variety of colors, not just black ones. I’m somewhat obsessed with my perennial hibiscus (especially the red ones) but it was the bromeliad who saved me. (I’m an English professor and I know it should be *that* and not *who* but I personify my little friends).
I bought the bromeliad because she was strange. At that time I had no idea that something so beautiful, a blooming bromeliad flower, indicated that she was dying. This was when my garden was in pots on a balcony and I was very much trying to get back to the girl I was. She had to be somewhere! But just like the bromeliad which sprouts a pup, my 15-yr-old inner goth girl resurrected small. Once she began to resurface, I could save myself; and, I did.
|a resilient pumpkin|
I follow the definition of *gardener* simply as “a person who tends and cultivates a garden as a pastime or for a living”. That’s a Google definition by the way and at best I’m an amateur gardener. I don’t even remember the names of some of the plants and flowers in my back, side, or front gardens… and I’m okay with that. I talk to them anyway. I cheer their growth. I thank Mother Nature for their arrival. I mourn when winter takes them away.
My nails are shit and it is all my fault. I love getting my hands dirty. I love working with my hands. I forget to wear gloves. I was actually blessed with beautifully long nail beds and that’s the only reason I can have the shortest of short nails that still look nice… when I try. (I don’t try very often.)
|upcycled yard art, a whirligig, and a Chinese fringe flower... yeah, I know some of their names|
All of this was meant to be a metaphor… gardening was used as a metaphor for living. I was tending my spirit; I was weathering the seasons; I was in need of some serious fertilizer which thankfully I have been receiving through (goth)living well… and through the connections I've made from this blog. Thank you to all who read this blog. My little black heart just grew two sizes larger (um, uh, yeah you know what I mean.)
All of that being said I was going to write that my current backyard garden looks a little dreary. It’s a rainy December day and much of the plant life isn't so attractive. But really my garden isn’t dreary at all. There are little bits of life on some of those shrubs (even berries!). I still have yard art and whirligigs. The garden is going through the seasonal cycle so that it can resurrect in a few months. At points in life, we all have to go within so that we can regenerate and renew. Sometimes we even look a little rough around the edges. (Aside: plug for Bat Fit!) In many ways as my sabbatical is coming to an end, I'm starting to see the work that I've put forth... I'm seeing tiny sprouts of life in my research. During the sabbatical, I started this blog as a way to reconnect with myself and the subculture. I can see growth from this as well.
It’s a rainy, overcast day but my garden and I are doing just fine.