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Refreshing Spring

Nicholas, it’s spring! the year’s true fresh start! renewal, resurrection, release–and lovely mud. And I so love playing in my yard, weeding and “breeding lilacs out of the dead land.” T.S. Eliot said it better than anyone, though the land is never dead really, just waiting to burst forth again.

Our two lilac blossoms, by the dooryard blooming

A Leaf Garden?

In my woodland garden, the bursts are relatively unspectacular, because of the shade. Therefore each bloom is especially cherished and often hard-won against the appetites of rabbits, brazen deer, and voles. Sometimes I think of my patch as mainly  a leaf garden; the leaves are particularly nice in the woods now, such a tender green haze, barely there. Soon the shade will be deeper. I often plant “flowers” meant for much more sun than they’ll ever see, and just enjoy whatever meager turn-out there is.

refreshing spring

Our total current crop of iris blooms

Joyfully Low Expectations

While I’m always delighted by each new spot or speckle of color, gardening has turned out to be one of the few activities in my life where the outcome is really not so important. At least that’s the way it is for me now. Many years ago before I got meds for OCD, I gave gardening a try and found I was happier giving it up. Because I took every plant too seriously, suffered over them.

refreshing spring

I needed them all to thrive. Not possible. You’ve probably heard the saying, “Anyone who wants to rule the world should try to rule the garden first.” Maybe the more horticulturally knowledgeable are able to exert some control, but not I.

refreshing spring

More Refreshing Springs These Recent Years

Now I’m happier putting stuff in the ground–and celebrating whatever comes. I wish my granddaddy had lived long enough to see me so passionate about plants. Visiting him always meant taking the tour of his yard and being introduced to dozens of individual specimens; I would quickly run out of comments. I wish I could take one of those tours again.

Anyway, no problems to report just now. Wishing you an especially refreshing spring.




Well, I wrote this last night and learned this morning that Dwane Powell has died–political cartoonist, wildly talented artist, good  and beautiful man, part of my larger circle of colleagues and friends for more than forty years. Our community has kept an on-line vigil for him these recent days. May spring be some comfort to his wife Jan and their daughter.



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  • Kenju
    April 15, 2019 at 3:25 pm Reply

    I can’t Garden any longer , and it pains me.

    Very sorry to read of Dwayne’s passing.

    • Peggy Payne
      April 15, 2019 at 4:00 pm Reply

      I’m sorry you can’t garden, Kenju– you have such a way with flowers!

  • April 15, 2019 at 9:00 pm Reply

    I love the splashes of color in your garden, and around the house, and how much you enjoy workin’ so hard out there. The perfectly located-to-smell and-see lilac blossoms are particular favorites of mine – I always enjoy ’em in my face as I enter or leave the greenhouse.
    And I’ll think of your friend Dwayne when next I pass by there – I read his softcover compendium of political cartoons with many chuckles and great appreciation of his wit and talent – I’m sorry he died.

    • Peggy Payne
      April 16, 2019 at 12:03 am Reply

      Thanks for all of this, Bob!

  • Robert J Braxton
    April 16, 2019 at 12:45 pm Reply

    Almost three years into the DNA part of genealogy I have the gift of many huge surprises and my view is similar: ancestors put “into the ground” so to speak and I can celebrate what comes / blooms – including my own mother (whose father I hypothesize), my “Braxton” generations whose ancestors turn out to be other Quaker family line, HADLEY.

    • Peggy Payne
      April 16, 2019 at 1:47 pm Reply

      You found more meaning in “putting stuff in the ground” than I knew was there, Bob. Nice addition.Thanks.

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