|Rhododendron hybrid at the Espy House in Oysterville, WA.|
I want to grow and change. I want to be like my formerly feral cat who’s grown to trust me more and more. For this love she’s shown me, I fixed her fence again about a month ago. I’m not going to say that she does the dishes now, but she’s quite happy with the respect I’ve shown her.
Currently I’m seeing so many things again as if for the first time and part of what’s kept me away from my typically long and meandering posts has been a reticence to describe my new life because it is taking time for me to watch it as it unfurls.
|Vine Maple (Acer circinatum).|
I’m emerging too and with the amount of restorative exercise I’ve been doing I’m looking like myself again. One cannot describe how much illness changes you inside as you suffer through the pain. In my case, I struggled for years on my own.
Though I’m better now, and so much stronger physically, for the last few months I’ve had to continue battling Hereditary Angiodema while at the same time accepting the fact that two falls down staircases have caused some serious damage to my back and neck. It is difficult to accept that I didn’t seek the help I needed at the time I needed it. Daily I’m reminded of this, and daily I’m learning to think about it differently while acknowledging I did the best that I could at that time. I needed help though in my daily life, and I needed a lot of support. Accepting that I still do, and that I need to ask for it from now on, is something I see now as an immediate need as I better define what living with dignity means to me.
With allergies and food intolerances it’s been difficult for years to eat but I’ve taken charge of that too. Having spent a lot of time with a Scandinavian friend with similar issues helped me a lot last year. Sometimes we cooked for one another too. It really helped me to rebuild my confidence and as my health has improved I’ve had more endurance in that arena too. Cooking is a big part of who I am.
|A shrimp and basil casserole I made with a recipe from the island of Elba. It has tomatoes and potatoes too and that’s just about it.|
|Handmade cannoli I made for my boyfriend’s birthday. Yes, I even made my own shells too.|
My online seed shop has recently been remodeled and cleaned up a bit too. I’ve been working on many other responsibilities as well. Highlights of my days include moments when I can sneak outside to discover new blooms on my old garden friends.
Slowly, I’m weeding the garden back into shape. Last year I didn’t work outside much at all. It was simply too painful. This year, I am trying really hard to take my garden back.
There are the new-to-me flowers too. Even if I’ve seen them a million times in print or online, seeing them up close and in person makes such a difference. I’ve been visiting friends’ gardens more and more and I love it when I’m surprised by what I can only call “new material”.
The classics have been comforting me this spring. After years of living with great stress and uncertainty I’m finally calm enough to really soak up and appreciate their beauty.
|Tulip hybrid in the company of a peony.|
The return of my green rose has brought me great comfort and gardener pride. With the high temperatures we’ve been having it’s blooming early this year.
Their black pepper scent was much missed.
With a return to the kitchen, I’ve become interested again in cooking with herbs and other plants. I’ve been wanting to raid my neighbor’s calendula for years and this is finally the year for me to do it. Have you cooked with Calendula before? Just curious.
Lastly, I’ve been returning to my roots and have been enjoying the natural beauty of the region I live in once more. There is so much meaning in everything I see and do now after so many years of struggling personally, professionally, and in my private life. Sometimes I wish that this process could speed up and end but in order to grow, I see clearly now that this takes time and care. I must tend to myself first and then to my garden. In the end, we’ll all be much stronger and more disease and pest resistant.
Oh, and I’m getting really excited now about being part of a presentation—along with some other garden blogging friends—on June 8th out at Joy Creek Nursery. Should be fun to really think about the topic of garden blogging over the next few weeks.
|Peony bloom I snapped from the sidewalk.|
Currently, when I don’t have plans with friends on Friday nights, I take leisurely 6-mile walks to Powell’s Books on Hawthorne and then I walk back home through Mt Tabor Park. These are productive walks where I not only get the much needed exercise I’ve missed for the last decade or so, but I also get to feel the joy I used to feel at just looking at things—mostly plants.
|Rockery overflowing with Basket of Gold, Aurinia saxatilis.|
Walking past Portland Nursery still makes me giggle a little since it’s no longer an escapist refuge for me as it once was when I could barely get anything done all day.
Seeing the cherry blossom petals scattered on the sidewalk while standing amongst them has made me smile with pleasure this year. They won’t be here for long and this year I won’t have to see them solely from the car as I fly past them. I savored them the other night because they’ll be gone next week.
No one knows this yet but I have lived at the base of Mt Tabor Park for almost 8 years and it was only within the last few months that I’ve been able to visit all of its reservoirs.
|False Solomon’s Seal, Maianthemum racemosum.|
Finding native plants in the park has been a great boon too.
|Vine Maple, Acer circinatum.|