Friday, August 21, 2015

Gardens of possibility

Nothing holds as much beauty for me as a garden and as much mystery as a garden gate. Open or closed, it sets me to wondering about what's beyond. And no activity has taught me more about life and living in the moment than working in my suburban garden--turning the soil, pruning, plucking spent blooms, watching the wildlife. I have...

  • learned which plants were weeds and which weren't
  • uncovered the secret of (nearly) perfect grass (psst! It's nitrogen)
  • grown in patience by waiting the requisite three years to harvest my first asparagus 
  • seen bumblebees fall asleep on catmint blossoms at dusk
  • discovered a complete rabbit skeleton under the bough of a pine tree after the winter thaw
  • cried over ducks' nests raided by crows and raccoons
  • watched a hawk dive into my shrubbery to catch a bird hiding there
  • watched another hawk square off against a squirrel (and lose!)
  • captured and relocated chipmunks who were bound and determined to plant all the birdseed
  • watched a deer rest one morning under the tree in my front yard (I could see her sides heave and the fog of her breath in the morning air)
  • come face-to-face with a fox, crossing through my yard on his way home to the woods (the hair on the back on my neck and my arms bristled and sensed his presence before I saw him)
  • reached the limit to the punishment my knees will take
  • buried three cats and a part of my heart with each of them

I've watched some plants die and others flourish (some got out of hand). When I took master gardener's training from the county extension agency, I found I had to make a LOT more mistakes before I'd become a real master.

Through it all, I've never owned a garden with an actual gate. But as summer winds toward its close, I want to share with all of you the gates I see open and closed in my head, as well as some wisdom about gardens, life and possibility.

Found on Gabba Gabba Gorgeous.

"I could happily lean on a gate all the livelong day, chatting to passers-by about the wind and the rain. I do a lot of gate-leaning while I am supposed to be gardening; instead of hoeing, I lean on the gate, stare at the vegetable beds and ponder." (Tom Hodgkinson) 
Found on Better Homes & Gardens

"People talk about opportunity knocking, but the gate was always swinging in the breeze before I got to the door." (Rufus Sewell)
Found on HGTV.

“However many years she lived, Mary always felt that she should never forget that first morning when her garden began to grow.” (Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden)
Found on Better Homes & Gardens.

"It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll; I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." (William Ernest Henley)

Found on Zsa Zsa Bellagio.
"The earth laughs in flowers." (Ralph Waldo Emerson) 
Found on Indulgy.
"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace." (May Sarton)
Found on Bob Vila.
“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live 'em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give 'em.” (Shel Silverstein)
Found on Spark Interior Style. Photo by Sue Lambe.

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Found on Cabine 36. Photo by Carolyn Aiken.
"Both in thought and in feeling, even though time be real, to realise the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom." (Bertrand Russell)
Found on Art Propelled.
"Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness, of hatred, of jealousy, and, most easily of all, the gate of fear." (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.)
Found on Pinterest. Photo by Judith Sharpe.


"No one can persuade another to change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or emotional appeal." (Marilyn Ferguson)
Found on Indulgy.
"If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody." (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Found on Google search.


"Trust in dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity." (Khalil Gibran)


Enjoy your weekend.



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