Monday, July 1, 2019

...nature and chairs...

One year ago, I started my garden at our new house. The perennial hibiscus plants started producing blooms this week. Those blooms and the Daylily blooms have kept my heart swooning. I have Bela Lugosi, Nosferatu, Whoopy, Little Grapette, and Custard Candy Daylilies blooming right now. The butterfly bushes and butterfly mint are in full bloom. The bees are in heaven.

The place is starting to feel like home. There is the excitement of seeing the transplanted plants flourish, and there is also joy is deciding what I will plant next.
I spend a great deal of time on our back porch because it’s screened-in and I can see my backyard garden and my side garden. My fella really wanted rocking chairs for our front porch. I think that was one of the spaces that was mostly forgotten. I have decorated it with flower baskets and plants framing our front door, and I’ve added seasonal decor but there really was not place to sit and just be. 

Yesterday, I found rocking chairs that I loved so I brought them home (in two trips since my car isn’t very big but at least the store was close by). I bought a shiny white rocking chair for my fella and a shiny black one for me. I’ve always enjoyed seeing people sit on their front porches when I’m walking. Sometimes when I walk by the super fancy houses with gorgeous wrap-around porches, I wonder why they’re not being used more. After adding the rocking chairs, I moved some of my herbs to the other side of the front porch just so the space feels more like a place. It’s actually quite convenient since I use the herbs and this makes it easier for me when I’m cooking to simply snip what I need without going out into the garden.

I have been reading a great deal about haunted houses, haunted places, and ghosts. I’m developing a course on ghosts and haunted history; and, I’m simply interested in the topic. When I placed the rocking chairs into their new spots yesterday, I remember the old house with the tin roof that I used to walk by. It was my dream home, a place I thought could be saved. Instead, one day the home was torn down and replaced with a new McMansion-style monstrosity. The day it was torn down, I wept partly because it was a surprise that it was happening and partly because a chair was left near the debris. It struck me as the saddest view. A seat to face what had been done.

We have been putting in a great deal of time and money into our new home. For over a decade, this house was used as rental property. As we excavate, we find treasures. This place was once very loved. And then, for some reason, it was let go. Ivy consumed the back of the property. I wonder if it would have made its way into a state like the abandoned house that was torn down.  We’re just going to keep loving this home. As we sit on our rocking chairs, we will look out at nature that surrounds us and I will dream of more garden projects.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

...the garden heals me...

Midnight Mystery Asiatic Lilies
I haven’t been feeling well the last few days. My body feels rundown and somewhat achy. My ears feel full. I check my weather app to see if the allergens are high in the area; they aren’t. Do I have the flu? Have I gotten Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever? Did a pesky mosquito give me some virus? Last night I fell asleep watching a show with my fella. I slept for 9 hours. I woke up only to still not feel better. 

Midnight Mystery Asiatic Lilies
This morning was the Richmond Daylily Society Show and Sale at the local botanical gardens. I headed there, purchased some lily bulbs, headed home and proceeded to plant ten daylilies and some iris bulbs a friend gave me. The best medicine for me is always the magic of plants and gardening. Now I’m the right kind of exhausted. And, I’m reflecting on why I’ve been so down lately. This entire week I have been quite melancholy even with friends visiting and good weather. Nearly a month ago, I took my mother on a trip to Savannah. My fella says that [as a bit of an empath] I’m still recuperating.
‘Nosferatu’ Daylily

My mother says that I don’t trust anyone. As I was planting my bulbs from the daylily show, I had to trust that the labels were correct. My mother says that I don’t have any patience. I am so patient that I frequently wait an entire year for plants to bloom. This year, my Superstition Iris didn’t bloom. I most likely planted it too deep and fixed that by replanting it. I’m slightly disappointed but not enough for me to not be excited about its future potential. It really is that gorgeous.  

Pagan Dance Iris
I’m not being dramatic when I write that it will be our last mother and daughter trip. My mother is nearing her 80s and her physical health is not great. She has limited mobility, arguably by choice. Aside from her physical health, her mental and emotional health have never been good. 

And, after 45 years of trying to be whatever she wants or hopes me to be as her daughter, and over a decade of therapy, I’ve learned that I will always have a biological need to want my mother to like me; and, I am not the labels she has applied to me. I will struggle with accepting this the rest of my life but I certainly do not have to put myself in a position to deal with her on a daily basis.


I joke that I have mommy issues but when I put my hands in the soil, I think of Mother Nature, the personification of nature that gives life and nurtures in a way that I believe a real mother should. Humans are complicated. Plants continue to save my life every single day.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 beauties in the garden...

This week is Spring Break, which in academia means catch up on all your research week. For me, it also means not commuting back and forth from Richmond to D.C. and not getting up at 4:30am!

While I have deadlines to meet, the outdoors keeps whispering to me. Here’s a quick post of what is growing in the garden.



Tulip Magnolia
Superstition Iris
Bela Lugosi (Daylily) returns!